Jan 122014
 

Bayou Boogaloo is one of many festivals held now on Bayou St. John (flickr/Maddening Crowd).

Ten years ago, Bayou St. John was not such a coveted destination as it is today. The grassy banks were overgrown, and pools of trash lay stagnant on water that wouldn’t flow due to dams that severely limited any southward movement.

“Anyone who remembers Bayou St. John before Hurricane Katrina remembers that it was never used, that people were afraid to walk on it at night and that it was dirty because people who came by had no respect for it,” says Jennifer Farwell, a Mid-City resident since 2002 who is also the president of the Mid-City Neighborhood Organization.

Fast-forward to today, and the bayou is experiencing resurgence — a kind of renaissance that has brought the waterway’s banks teeming to life. Some Bayou St. John and Parkview residents say the pendulum has swung so far in the other direction that new measures are needed to control the area’s activity — and their proposal is drawing mixed reactions from different neighborhood groups.

It all started the year after the storm, residents say. If the bayou was unsightly before Katrina, it was even bleaker right after. Floodwaters were pumped out of the city, but sluice gates were still closed, which caused low water levels in the bayou and high salinity, according to the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation. That wrought damage on the bayou’s already compromised environment, and exposed the tires, drowned cars and shopping carts that had been trapped in the water.

The area has come a long way since then. Projects to restore the bayou’s wildlife included dredging the mouth of the waterway to the removal of a dam on Robert E. Lee Boulevard that blocked the flow of water from Lake Pontchartrain — a restriction scientists have likened to a clogged artery in the watercourse system.

Today, residents and dogs can be seen running and playing on the banks, which now harbor a channel filled not only with speckled trout but also with the kayaks and canoes used to catch them. When it’s warm, people paddleboat, play volleyball and hold outdoor parties. Over the summer, the bayou saw its second annual July 4thBoat Parade, one of many new festivals and events that seem to be popping up on the bayou’s banks. “The entire city has come to rely on the bayou for recreational activity,” Farwell says. “The vibrancy the bayou is currently experiencing is due to people coming and using it.”

The Krewe of Kolossos during its second annual July 4th parade on Bayou St. John (Alan Zakem/July 4th Boat Parade on Bayou St. John Facebook event page).

But is the bayou’s recreational renaissance too much of a good thing?

“Our idea is to have some reason to the bayou,” says Jean Lichtfuss, president of the Parkview Neighborhood Association. “To protect it environmentally and residentially and historically, because it is an historic bayou.”

Lichtfuss is part of a brand-new organization called the Greener Bayou St. John Coalition, made up of residents surrounding the bayou and some members of neighboring associations. Organized by Bayou St. John resident Musa Eubanks, the coalition’s goal is to preserve and improve Bayou St. John and its environs, and also to address issues regarding the “thoughtful and sustainable use of the bayou’s banks and surrounding public land,” according to its website.

According to Lichtfuss, that means limiting the amount of “active recreation” that she says is wreaking havoc on the bayou’s grassy banks — including volleyball games and other seasonal sports.

Most importantly, Lichtfuss says, the city should reduce the number of festivals being held on the bayou, from the summer boat races to Praise Fest NOLA, a three-day gospel festival that attracted as many as 50 gospel artists and up to 5,000 attendees in 2013, its third year. As many as 35,000 people at a time come to other festivals, like the longstanding Bayou Boogaloo.

“When you’re going to make festival grounds on property across from gorgeous historic homes, I do think the neighborhood should have something to say about that,” Lichtfuss says. “These are our homes along the bayou. We’re the ones who are affected by everything going on.”

Lichtfuss wants residents to come up with ideas about how to restrict use of the bayou and present them to the New Orleans City Council, in hopes of getting stricter zoning laws established for the waterway — at least for the parameters from where Carrollton Avenue meets Wisner Boulevard to the end of the bayou at Lafitte Street.

Ultimately, Lichtfuss says, she’d like to see the bayou be more like Lakeview, and have special zoning designation preventing large-scale events and other activities.

“It’s a real grassroots effort,” Lichtfuss says.  “Everybody in the city can enjoy the bayou, but they will in certain parameters.”

To set those parameters, Eubanks, the coalition’s founder, is putting together a two-part Bayou St. John Master Plan: “Health of the Bayou” and “Uses of the Bayou” — neither of which carries any official or legal imprimatur, but Eubanks envisions a conservation organization stewarding and protecting Bayou St. John for its health. So far, he’s suggested the Land Trust for Louisiana and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. He wants to re-create the Bayou St. John Conservation Alliance, a coalition of 20 businesses, schools, churches and other associations that aligned in 2008 to help rescue a degraded bayou battered by the storm, he says.

To determine the bayou’s best recreational uses, Eubanks organized a December meeting of neighborhood organization presidents that did not include members of the public or New Orleans City Council. Members of the Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association and the Mid-City Neighborhood Organization joined Lichtfuss and Eubanks, as did Veda Manuel, Eubanks’ wife. In the meeting minutes, Manuel was listed as president of the Bayou St. John-Lafitte Neighborhood Organization.

Eubanks says that the coalition is still trying to figure out how to get input about how the bayou should be used, and he’s encouraging neighborhood associations to ask their members.

“Nobody knows where it’s going to go from here,” Eubanks says. “But people were frustrated, and they don’t want to go to the city. They want to talk about it first — make a plan.”

A crowd gathers to hear live music during Bayou Boogaloo (photo courtesy of Bayou Boogaloo Music Festival).

Other residents say they’re in opposition to any restricted usage, however.

“I’m in total disagreement with taking activity away from the bayou,” says Diane Chaine, whose home faces the bayou. “I think things should be done with respect, but I haven’t seen anything get out of hand.”

And Farwell, the MCNO’s current president, points out that the Bayou St. John Comprehensive Management Plan, created in 2006, calls to “increase and facilitate recreational access and use of Bayou St. John.”

That’s exactly what’s happened, says District A City Councilwoman Susan Guidry, whose district includes the bayou. But Guidry thinks there’s a better balance to be had.

“It’s meant for the public,” Guidry says. “But I do want to balance the heavy use of those banks with the quality of life.”

To that end, Guidry recently announced that the city will begin charging next year for festivals to rent out the space — a change she thinks will naturally thin out the bayou’s use.

Jared Zeller, founder of Bayou Boogaloo, says that not every festival is the same. He says he’s given back to the bayou in countless ways since starting in 2006. Recently, his Mothership Foundation invested $30,000 into a project to replace live oaks lost during hurricanes.

“The infrastructure is there to make this a great, open public space,” Zeller says. “And sustainability is a big part of the festival. It’s always been part of the mission.”

Zeller agrees that there are some issues to be addressed, including litter from other festivals, and boats being moored indefinitely on the bayou. But he adds that the Mothership Foundation is “deeply concerned” about the attempts to put restrictions on the bayou — including what he calls “significant” charges the city is proposing for usage of the space next year.

He says he could be charged as much as $10,000 or more next year to hold Bayou Boogaloo – a cost that would actually hurt his ability to give back to the community.

“It takes money to green a bayou,” Zeller says.

At the Greener Bayou St. John Coalition’s first meeting, members decided that each neighborhood association will be responsible for getting input from their community about what to include in the master plan. The neighborhood associations will pick one person for the “Health of the Bayou” working group and one person for the “Uses of the Bayou” working group. Those selected group members will hopefully meet at the end of the month, Eubanks said, to discuss a plan for surveying residents who live near Bayou St. John, and learn how they want the waterway to be used.

Although there are many opinions about how to best use the bayou, there is one thing everyone seems to agree on. The bayou first became invaluable to New Orleans about 300 years ago, as a commercial and transportation corridor. Today, the land is just as important, because it’s become a place to settle.

“This is an important piece of land. When you dig into the history you realize this is where it all started,” Zeller says. “We should take pride in it, we should take care of it and we should restore it.

“It’s the best place in the city to live.”

A version of this article was first published in Gambit through our news-reporting partnership.

  86 Responses to “Bayou St. John residents look into restricting activity near the waterway”

  1. I disagree with many of the assertations made by this group. Having lived in the neighborhood adjacent to the bayou since 2001, I completely contest that it was recently a scary, crime-filled, dirty location. Is this about protecting a “historical asset” or is it really about occasional noise and parking problems? This quote in particular stands out: “These are our homes along the bayou. We’re the ones who are affected by everything going on.”

  2. I live right on the bayou and I can tell you that I love having bayou boogaloo right here in the hood- they clean up exceptionally well and cut off the music and fest reasonably. July 4th event, on the other hand, is a disgrace post event. People stayed on the bayou long after the event with house speakers blaring music- no security to get things under control. And the trash left behind overflowing from OUR neighborhood garbage cans was disgusting. There does need to be some control-

    • I do not read this article or the organizers of Greener Bayou St. John Coalition as opposing Bayou Boogaloo. That is a non-issue. The issue here is a problem being faced by urban areas all over the country. As open green recreational areas get fewer and fewer, there are increased pressures on the remaining areas to take up the slack. If these remaining areas are not well managed, their quality can deteriorate until they are not the viable areas they once were. As I read Greener Bayou St. John Coalition’s web site, it appears to advocate for this very idea. Let us take stock of this wonderful asset we have and decide as a community what we would like to see it become. This is not a top down matter like the city’s proposed noise ordinance, it is a grass root effort to determine our own future. I commend Gambit and Mid-City Messenger for publicizing this issue, and hope they continue to follow this issue.

  3. The comments regarding the focus on restricting use are most disturbing. I agree with K. Buck, Lichtfuss’s statement, “These are our homes along the bayou. We’re the ones who are affected by everything going on,” clarifies where her perspective and concerns lie. It seems the small festivals and increased use of BSJ by the public has been more of a nuisance and inconvenience to this resident. The largest of these festivals, Bayou Boogaloo, is basically a large fundraiser for BSJ upkeep! Give me a break! If there has been an increased use and it is affecting these public grounds, then we need to focus efforts on management of the area. If abandoned boats are the problem, impose the consequence on the boat owner, such as a fine or confiscation of abandoned property. I think it’s FSJ neighborhood association that routinely does trash walks to pick up litter along the bayou neighborhoods. This community is happy to help itself and to work together to keep it’s beloved BSJ beautiful and sustained. There are better solutions to these issues than to simply slap restrictions of use on public property. –BSJ resident

    • Restrictions on use of public property don’t automatically mean no use, as you seem to imply. Required hiring of police for handling traffic and litter as well as retricting the length and times of events are reasonable. Ignoring the peace and tranquility of residents along the bayou is unfair. Imposing restrictions on irresponsible boat owners has been a jurisdictional issue yet unresolved. You say there are better solutions than restrictions but you offer none. If anything, they should slap restrictions on people like you from participating in viable solutions.

    • Ms. Christina Pitre would you please contact me concerning an unrelated matter.

      Thank you
      Geralyn Triss

  4. I live near the Bayou (about 4 blocks away toward Carrolton Ave) and I couldn’t DISAGREE more with the proposals to limit things like volley ball on the bayou! We have signs of a vibrant community, with people using the bayou for recreation, the addition of Bayou Boogaloo, and other events, and what do we get a bunch of NIMBY’s who want to ruin it! This is the same misplaced attitude behind things like the propose new noise ordnance! STOP IT, these are the things that make New Orleans a vibrant livable city.. You want a typical suburban lifestyle MOVE to Metairie or the north shore! The reason I live in New Orleans is because of areas like Bayou Saint John and how they are enjoyed by the community, not to just stare at it like some work of art hanging in a museum!

  5. I agree with Karen. This Bayou was not as described “,,filthy, etc..” Thanks to the residents of Faubourg St. John and residents of Parkview who started major clean-ups of the Bayou many more than ten years ago, it has become cleaner and more user-friendly than it ever was. It was that way when I was a child going to Holy Rosary School, too. I very enthusiastically agree with Meghen about Bayou Boogaloo as compared with other festivals. I love Bayou Boogaloo and would not want that changed. It is once a year for one weekend. However, too many other “festivals” are coming in for a pittance of a fee and cause a lot of mess, stay too long and break the noise ordinances. That is why there needs to be some management of what happens on the Bayou. As far as Pitre’s comment goes: You bet! It is clear where I am coming from -the positions of my own neighbors who have to live with the mess, the noise and the traffic tie-ups several times a month now! Obviously Petrie does not live in Faubourg St. John or Parkview,otherwise she would know that both our organizations have been doing a LOT about abondoned kayaks and trash on the Bayou so people like her who obviously don’t live too close to the Bayou can enjoy it the way they do. I wonder if she has every participated in the annual Bayou Clean-up. Or has she every made a complaint about the abandoned boats or listend to the music and preaching that violates the noise ordances, unable to go to sleep at night or get her children to sleep. The work of the Coalition is not to “slap restrictions” on the use of public property; it is to bring some common sense management to the use of it in a way that EVERYONE in the area agrees is acceptable to all as well as protective of the ecology, the environment, the historic designation and the neighborhoods, It seems that some people want to trash the idea of the Greener Bayou St. John Coalition’s idea of a master plan before it even gets started. Don’t they realize that this plan will be the work of everyone in the neighborhoods adjoining the Bayou? What is there to be afraid or or feel defensive about? Also, the Coalition fully intends to get the in-put of the elected City Council members as soon as it has something to talk about which will not be a waste of their time. We expect everyone who participates in this effort to come with an open mind and sensitivity to what everyone else has to offer. Jean Lichtfuss

    • Thanks for commenting! I just wanted to share the document that describes those conditions of the bayou before and just after Katrina: http://www.saveourlake.org/PDF-documents/habitat/BSJ_CMP.pdf. It’s the Bayou St. John Comprehensive Management Plan, it was written in 2006, and it describes the litter, high salinity and the water’s lack of flow. It was prepared by the Lake Ponchartrain Basin Foundation.

    • In reference to abandoned boats – what do y’all do with them? Are they stored somewhere? I know a lot people who’s locks have been cut and boats stolen from the bayou. Is it possible they were mistaken as abandoned and taken by people doing clean up? Who would someone contact about getting their boat back if it was removed because it was assumed abandoned?

    • I am a lifelong resident of new orleans and lakeview and have organized and participated in marsh plantings on bayou st john, and helped in the planning of the marsh restoration of the lake end. I did live on Bayou itself for a time, but the rent, as they say, was too damn high. I stored my kayak for weeks at a time one the bayou for years.

      I personally used the kayak stored on the bayou weekly to traverse the bayou, as well as pick up trash.

      Since all of these articles on boats on the bayou have come out, more boats have appeared.

      Also, my kayak was taken, and I would appreciate the opportunity to talk with your neighborhood organization about the whereabouts of my boat.

      Thanks,

      Scott Eustis, M.S.
      scotteustis@gmail.com

    • Oh, Lichtfuss… the only thing obvious here is that you are being combative and not hearing what everyone else here is saying. Most have stated in this thread that they don’t want restrictions on use, they want management of the situations that arise with misuse. There’s really no need to try to call people out here that disagrees with you to “stand up like a man.” As for your assumptions above, I have been a resident of BSJ for several years, both pre and post Katrina. I live within the first block off Moss near the Dumaine St. bridge. The “mess, noise, and traffic tie-ups” would therefore be in my own backyard as well. I have participated in clean up efforts and several of the bayou events throughout the year. There are messes that don’t get picked up at times, which should be addressed. However, I don’t notice these significant traffic tie-ups several times a month or noise that keeps me from sleeping, but that may just be my luck or generally lower level of agitation by other people. The individuals on this thread have a right to their opinion and don’t have to state their name or place of residence for it to count. You don’t own this thread, just like you don’t own this bayou.

  6. What’s your stance ms farwell? Are you conflicted as the author and president of one of the neighborhood groups that held these secret meetings?

    • I can’t speak for Ms. Farwell but I can stand up for her as someone who has worked with her in the past during my residency in Mid-City. I believe all she did was cite the last Bayou study–less than 10 years old–which called for greater use of this public resource. I don’t see where that is a conflict, unless of course you are in favor of this handful of property owners deciding what the greater public can do on the Bayou.

      As a resident of the area (Fortin Street) who has used the Bayou since childhood, paddling it’s length from the old Country Club when the walls of the locks were still in place to Lafitte Street, I greatly enjoy seeing the renaissance of use. As a member of the Faubough St. John Neighborhood Association and a former member of the Mid-City Neighborhood Organization who remains on their mailing list, I have yet to see signs of outreach to take in the greater neighborhood’s opinion. And no sign of full public outreach for opinion on a state waterway that is enjoyed by everyone in the city.

  7. What a crock! I live two blocks from St. Charles in an historic home and people pissing in my driveway, leave trash on my doorstep and frat boys pull up vans and loudly drink for two weeks out of every year. I do sometimes yell at the people abusing the party but I would never think of preventing Mardi Gras.

    If you want to live in anywhere USA move there!

    • 2nd this emotion.

      Grew up in Mid City, played tackle football on the banks of the bayou as a kid and love how much use it is getting now.

      Now live off St Charles and deal with same issues as jeds dead, St Charles belongs to all of us, as does the bayou.

      This quote says it all for me, “Ultimately, Lichtfuss says, she’d like to see the bayou be more like Lakeview”. There are still great deals to be had in Lakeview, why not move?

  8. I have lived on Bayou St. John for 53 Years. I am in favor of keeping the Bayou grassy areas clean and green. To do so you must restrict further use of the Bayou. I can tolerate the Bayou Boogaloo one weekend every year except when last year there was a lot of vulgarity coming from the stage nearest Dumaine. I was shocked, This is a family event!!
    However the volley ball people must go. They need to rent a playground such as Easton, Comisky, or Des Mar playground because they are athletic events.
    They illegally park on the grass accross the street. Where do they go to the toilet?
    What if a softball league starts up next?

    THIS IS A RESIDENTIAL AREA!!!!!!

  9. First they came for our ducks, then they came for our volleyball….I moved here and bought a house and am paying taxes BECAUSE of the ducks, the volleyball, the boats, the swing and because IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE LAKEVIEW!!!
    Move back to the suburbs, brats.

    • Yep. I find it laughable they want to emulate the Lakefront. The Lakefront is such an underutilized, wasted resource!

      Glad to see most are in favor of keeping BSJ for public use!

  10. Sorry, there were no “secret meetings,” only one meeting of the presidents of the adjoining neighborhood associations to get each one’s ideas about this project before moving futher on. It was a very positive meeting in which everyone had open minds to this possibility.I have read the Bayou St. John Comprehensive Management Plan from ftont to back, Della, and it primarily addresses the water quality which did suffer after Katrina. It also addresses types of recreation and uses of the Bayou which are conmpatible with this plan and which, I think, the Coalition needs to take a very good look at. Many of the suggestions made in this plan have already been undertaken and/or monitored successfully by FSJNA and Parkview NA. from Esplanade to Orleans Ave over the past several years.The area above Esplanade has been well maintained by City Park. B. Jean Lichtfuss

  11. I’ve been near the corner of Dumaine and Moss since
    Spring of 1999. The Bayou is a jewel and seeing
    People BBQ , playing volleyball, canoeing and
    Gathering , exercising and fun festivals are great for this community
    and area. There are always a few bad apples in every bunch.
    That’s life. I’ve never been happier living here than
    I am now. It’s getting BETTER all the time .
    Loosen up y’all. Don’t you love seeing people enjoying ilife. I am proud
    of its resurgence. This is New Orleans. It’s not turning into
    Frenchmen street ! It’s a naturally beautiful area & always has
    Been . It wasn’t bad before the storm. I see people from my
    Front porch daily . Happy and getting healthy.
    Respect yourself, respect the Bayou and enjoy this historic treasure.
    This is just common sense and decency.
    I’m proud to live here and wanna see more activities
    on the Bayou, more trees, more music , more
    smiles , more exercising and celebrating its magic.
    I’m a homeowner and am opposed to BS
    Restrictions from the party pooper patrol.
    Isn’t that why we live in this city?
    We celebrate our uniqueness and zest for
    Life, culture,Art, music, food , Indians , brass bands, etc
    This is the best part of the city to live in and it’s
    Only getting better .

  12. As a resident, property owner and business owner along Bayou St. John since 1998, I would like to present a different view from the portrayal of Bayou St. John in this article. The article starts “Ten years ago, Bayou St. John was not such a coveted destination as it is today. The grassy banks were overgrown, and pools of trash lay stagnant on water…” and in the next paragraph “Anyone who remembers Bayou St. John before Hurricane Katrina remembers that it was never used, that people were afraid to walk on it at night and that it was dirty because people who came by had no respect for it,”

    The reality is that Bayou St. John has been a coveted destination as well as a coveted place to live since French settlers came here, and was apparently coveted by the Native Americans who lived nearby before the French settlers. And, for the record, the property taxes on land along the Bayou are nearly double property taxes one block away, apparently because it is a coveted place to live. In addition, the re-purposing of American Can overlooking Bayou St. John began its multi-million dollar development in 1998.

    When I purchased my business building in 1998, the Bayou was very well used. People picnicked, walked their dogs, jogged, fished, flew kites, threw frisbees, or just sat and meditated along the Bayou’s banks. People were regularly seen canoeing along the waterway. In fact there was so much casual activity that it was considered to be one of the safest places to live in the City. I many times walked my dog around the Bayou for her last walk after midnight greeting people coming and going.

    The grassy banks were never overgrown. The grass was cut regularly by the Orleans Levee Board, and if it ever got a little long, one call to the Levee Board and they would be out the next day.

    As business owners we cleaned both the banks and the waterway of the Bayou from Lafitte St. to Dumaine St. at least once a week until Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures flooded us out. There were also major annual cleanups sponsored by the Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association in which many residents from FSJNA, Parkview Neighborhood Association and ourselves participated. In early 2006, after cleaning out our business and home, for nearly a month, I, along with several neighbors living near the Bayou, cleaned up every piece of storm and other debris from both banks and from the waterway between Lafitte St. and Orleans Ave.

    We also succeeded in getting three City of New Orleans trash cans put along the Bayou between Lafitte St. and Orleans Ave., as well as in getting two doggie bag dispensers at this end of the Bayou (which we maintain).

    Please forgive me if I seem defensive, but Bayou St. John is, and has always been a New Orleans treasure and perhaps needs defending when it is maligned. Act 267 of the Louisiana State Legislature says in part that Bayou St. John is a bayou “…which because of its unique historical status and scenic character requires protection and preservation…”

    Musa Eubanks

  13. The individuals behind this coalition have an agenda…read the following article: http://www.myneworleans.com/New-Orleans-Magazine/September-2012/Boston-on-the-Bayou/#.UEg2wMUZB1E.facebook
    They somehow bought a commercial lot that is directly across from the Post Office and have turned it into their very own Co-op, selling plots of land to friends and family. Since Katrina they have built several homes that would look more appropriate on a beach than in New Orleans. They have blocked the bayou view of the historic Hagan St. American Can Shotgun homes. They have fought against every event held on the bayou, because they feel they have a right to the bayou and no one else should have use of their backyard. They fought successfully against plans to build a sand volleyball court across from the bayou on land the Sewage and Water Board was ready to lease to the Mid-City Volleyball Organization by misrepresenting themselves to the SWB and residents. This group of individuals has made it clear that they do not want any festivals on the bayou and would prefer that no one be allowed use of the space, period.
    Events and activities on Bayou St. John and the green space around it should not be restricted because of a few residents. They didn’t buy the bayou and should not be able to move forward with their agenda.

    • The block you are referring to use to have a brick funeral parlor that looked like it should be on Veterans Avenue and a large adjoining concrete parking lot. The homes that now sit there are a far improvement in the aesthetics from the funeral parlor and parking lot. If that is your view of the uses of the banks of this beautiful waterway, it is a very sad view.

    • This is a completely false representation of some folks who have taken an eyesore and built innovative and attractive homes designed (the one featured was by a local architect that lives a few blocks away) that feel very New Orleans to me, are not MacMansions, are available to any builder willing to respect the building guidelines and bring much needed housing to the area. As for opposing fun and healthful pursuits, this couple owned the bike rental biz which brought many to the area to enjoy it from a bike, and suffered loss of the business with Katrina. Their garden is a joy to behold and the benches on their property have been a gathering place for many neighbors in a privately owned place with a real public feel.

      • Whether or not the new homes are aesthetically pleasing or McMansions I do not believe is the issue here. I think we can all agree that these are probably the homes located closest (or darn near close) to the bayou from Lafitte to Carrollton. They are undoubtedly the ones that are located closest to the wide area where the greatest use for festivals and volleyball is. They were also, but for the rectangular building, not there before Katrina, or for the most part, before these events came into existence.

        So, as posited by MCR, the issue is: Should a tiny group of homeowners have say over the usage of the bayou by thousands of Mid-Citizens, New Orleanians, and others? Or, how much of a say should they have? I disagree with the characterization that the sub-area surrounding the beginning of the bayou is a “residential neighborhood”. The existence of a nursing home, to be redeveloped hospital, car wash, post office, bike store, furniture warehouse, abandoned lot, light store, parking lot farmer’s market, apartment building, veterinary for blind pets, popular po-boy restaurant, gas station, etc. I believe supports this. It is a mixed area, and it appears those who have been here longer than my 15 years have unequivocally confirmed this.

        A mixed area is never going to be a 100% quiet, peaceful, back to the country crickets chirping neighborhood. It will be occasionally noisy and hectic, but welcoming to all sorts of people. And this particular one is more often than not peaceful, beautiful, and relaxing.

        It seems to me a problem is being created where one doesn’t exist? Can someone provide a concise, pithy statement of the problem that we’re actually trying to address so we can all be on the same page if we’re supposedly proposing solutions?

  14. F- sand volleyball on the bayou. whatever on the boogledoo and barnacle boats, I really don’t care. though, charging for events strikes me as encouraging more large scale events, and appropriating public space. and what about Super Sunday? any coincidence that the Mardi Gras indians don’t congregate here now? When will you damned white privileged hippies get a grip? reading this crap makes me wanna move to Somalia.

  15. Bayou St. John is an amazing place. I lived a short walking distance from the Bayou for two years. I would kayak, walk with my dog, hang out with my friends, attend festivals – it’s my favorite public space in New Orleans. I can understand wanting slightly higher permit fees for events to help cover clean up, but you don’t want to price people out of being able to enjoy this PUBLIC space. Right now, I live in Baton Rouge near the LSU lakes. Yeah, we have bikes and joggers, but we don’t have festivals, BBQs, weddings, volleyball…it’s pretty but really boring. If you want to live on a boring waterfront, come on up to Baton Rouge. If you want to your neighborhood to be like Lakeview, move to Lakeview. You know you can sell your house on Bayou St. John for more money that you paid for it, so why not give people who love it the opportunity to live there? We can balance nature and recreation, but a major scale back on the activity that’s there now is unnecessary.

    Tell you what, Bayou St. John belly-achers, I’ll trade you my quite apartment 1 block from the LSU Lake for your “loud” house 1 block from the bayou. I love the neighborhood and would love to live there again. If you don’t love it, here’s your opportunity to leave. We got a deal?

  16. Love the description of this as a “real grassroots effort” it sounds a lot more like a top-down imposition of the minority will of a few folks with the money and political connections to do so.

    “Everybody in the city can enjoy the bayou, but they will in certain parameters.” i.e. the parameters that I have decided are the most advantageous to my personal concerns.

    And why would anyone want things to be like they are in Lakeview?

  17. I thought it was required to state your name when making a comment here. Apparently there is someone who is privileged moreso than the rest of us. I wonder why. I would like to know who “Mid-City resident” is who is talking so much about the mid-city volleyball group. Is he afraid to be identified. Stand up like a man and identify yourself. The rest of us have done so. And please, Mid-City Messenger, don’t make exceptions to your policy for special people. It brings your whole editorial objectivity into question…not good for your reputation as trustworthy and objective newsprint. By the way, nobody has mentioned volleyball in relation to this plan. Is that what all this objection is about? We have no idea where volleyball or softball or football or soccer will land with this plan. That is why we are trying to get a good representative group of objective people involved, not people who come to fight with the committee for their own agenda. As far as the “secret” meeting, the people in Faubourg St. John, Parkview and BSJ/Lafitte Corridor neighborhoods knew about this meeting. That is documented in the FSJNA and Parkview websites and e-mail sites as there was a lot of discussion about it. It is funny that comments are coming from Mid-City and other parts of the City that it was “secret”. Did not your representative who was there tell you about it? I am sure he must have as he did not impress us as a sureptitious type of person. Where is this rumor of “secret” coming from?.

    • The meeting was not secret but surely restricted. Susan Guidry was not invited nor welcome. As far as individuals having an agenda. This so called “Green” group is anything but what it claims to be. This group was formed to restrict people and activities on public land. If anything new happens on the bayou immediate opposition from Musa and Veda prompts the neighborhood associations to jump on board with the restriction card. Residence on the bayou does not mean you make the rules. Your financial privilege and view of what’s best for all of us is not how public land should be utilized.

    • You wrote: “We have no idea where volleyball or softball or football or soccer will land with this plan.”

      While that of course is true as no one can know the future with certainty, perhaps you could use this opportunity to clarify for everyone here that is interested in any of those activities where you stand on them?

      As an aside, has anyone ever played softball there? Like, with a bat? It seems to me playing that next to a bayou is a great way to have a short game. Are there kayakers waiting to catch foul balls and home runs like there are outside the stadium in San Francisco?

      CW

  18. People recreating on the bayou is a natural crime deterrent. This is the same gentrification class who would rather outfit networks of cameras than see crime gradually disappear because of genuine community building. If things get too loud, address the issue when it comes up. There are already positive organizations who make an effort to keep it clean out there, organizations who will only grow if the area remains welcoming to people, some of whom will join the efforts of thise organizations. And for the “obscenities” commenter – seriously? Families aren’t only composed of children. Sometimes adults like to come out and play. If you can’t handle colorful language in your household, keep your kids locked in a basement somewhere until they’re old enough to handle expressive language. It’s not the norm anyway. Why is it only property owners in the area who should have a say in how this public space is used? There are plenty of people who pay exorbitant rent to live in this safe neighborhood, many of them who spend their time outside in play, again, keeping the area much safer. Doing more to keep it safe than those who would rather sit on the porch of their upper-middle-class mansions and look for things to complain about, dollars in hand, to see their will be done.

  19. How crazy is this? Really? I was just at Audubon Park yesterday and in the Quarter on Sat. It was great to enjoy those areas of the city. I’m so glad that as a mid city resident I was not keep from using of those areas of my city where I pay my taxes…………..Get real folks…………This is a great city and we all share it…………..You don’t want them in your area but you can go to the quarter and uptown or the lakefront ………..again REALLY

  20. Sad these discussions are plagued with those who put extreme words in other peoples mouths and ascribe dark motives to them. For instance, most people agree that playing volleyball is OK, but creating fenced in sandlots, night lighting standards, concession stands and parking for large tournaments is NOT OK. However if you favor the first and oppose the second, some will say you are “suburban” or elitist. In fact you want as broad a usage as possible by leaving the grass for all to enjoy. Do dog walkers, frisbee throwers or book readers want exclusive use of the bayou? Again, most don’t mind the canoes, but also don’t like the swamped out abandoned ones that detract from the enjoyment of the banks. Well favor that and you are styled as NIMBY or belly acher. And nobody came for the ducks to take them away (get your facts straight please). I say its time we listen and respects opinions of all, with a particular concern for the souls living next to the bayou. I dare say they never lived in Lakeview and most have been there longer than the party crazy newbies who think they can redefine New Orleans in their own “no-restrictions” way.

  21. First they came for your books. Then for your ducks. Then they took your volleyballs. Next your canoes and kayaks were torpedoed. Soon you will see “Keep off the grass” signs. How about “Shhhhh, no talking” signs? Jean, if you dislike the Bayou so much, why not move? I am sure plenty of neighborhoods would welcome you and your efforts at purity.

    • Another stupid comment from a hateful person. I know both Lichtfuss and the Eubanks. Jean has worked for the city since before you were born, worked diligently for her church and her neighborhood. The Eubanks have redeveloped vacant land with homes and gardens so that more can live and enjoy this area by the bayou. It’s wrong, disrespectful and ignorant to characterize these people as “gated community” seekers who hate people enjoying the Bayou. Maybe its those who think New Orleans is just an excuse to drink and party every weekend at an endless fest who are destroying the true New Orleans. Think that life maybe a little more complex than that.

    • “Bambi”, This is not Farenheight451(1953), nor science fiction nor the same time and place as Ray Bradberry. This if sixty one years later. Let’s get to the 21st century. I have loved Bayou St. John since I was a child fishing on it, crossing it to go to Church or school and playing on it. So much so that I bought my home here in 1979 and devoted much of my time invested in the neighborhood and the Bayou as my family has. I am a person that tries to fix what is broken and not throw it away or make things better, not walk away from it. You may chose to walk away as well, but if you have invested your blood, sweat and tears and so much love in the neighborhood you won’t. Walking away from it may be easier for you than for me; it depends on what you have given of yourself to it. The choice is yours to make.

  22. Well said, Robert.I, too, am saddened by the immature and defensive name calling when we expect a higher level of discussion from mature people. I don’t think this is really coming from the majority of Mid-City residents, though, but only from a few with their own agenda and so I would have to ignore it (and those who stoop to it) in the most graceful manner as possible. I think Jennifer has her work cut out for her if she needs to get good, solid, objective feedback from her members and I would be 100% supportive to her. I don’t believe the Coalition would ever come up with a plan which keeps anyone from enjoying the Bayou. However, in response to Tom, he cannot go out to the lakefront to do as he pleases nor can anyone else. They did secure protective zoning which actually closes down the lakefront to any noise making activity and no one else in the City was asked for their input or even advised of this prior to its passage.

  23. Several respondents have said, “If you don’t like what’s going on, Move.’”

    Citizens who care about their city and their neighborhood do not just move when something is not right. Actually, when they are committed and they care, they work for what they believe is right for their neighborhood and for their city.

    • I have to respectfully disagree with you and Musa. It was Ms. Lichtfuss who suggested the Bayou be more like Lakeview. People who express such sentiments invite the “love it or leave it response”.

  24. As I said before My family has lived in this area for 4 generations I have been in this area for 68 years. I know this is harsh, but people move here because it is a great place to live. Than they start liking it so much they want to start controlling it for them and theirs. When they start wanting to restict access to public property for their own use, THEIR PROPERTY SHOULD BE FORFETIED AND TURNED INTO PUBLIC PROPERTY, OR DOG PARKS. i WOULD RATHER HAVE THE DOGS THAN THIS TYPE OF PEOPLE.

    • Wow! That is just plain ugly! This is no longer a discussion it is an ugly fight.

    • Maybe you should move.

      • I kept off of this thread because the comments are just so hateful. But now I will speak up because, really, you don’t know what you are talking about, some of you.
        I’ve lived on or near the bayou for 14 years, renting and owning. Raising my family here now. I love the bayou. It was a great secret for a long time. Now everyone knows about it. That is great!
        But with more traffic, more moored boats (some forgotten and sinking, full of water and mosquito larvae), more “festivals”, use of the bridge and the southern bank by Moss and Taft for daily impromptu parties, the harder it gets to maintain the area by its inhabitants (residents). We, yes, we, the horrible people who are so lucky to call this area our neighborhood, want to have a little oversight. Why, because it is starting to get a bit out of control. There have been nights when some of us have had to call police or firemen to come help. If we don’t ask for some form of official help now, it will be even harder down the road. I’m not sorry if that offends you. It is our right to try to protect this neighborhood and its beautiful bayou.

  25. First the Lakefront, now the Bayou. I guess City Park is next. Wow, New Orleans one big gated community (prison).

  26. As a resident of Bayou St. John, I agree with setting parameters for festivals for upkeep and beautification purposes. I do not agree with doing away with all of the things that make me want to live here, such as Bayou Boogaloo, volleyball and recreation. This bayou belongs to all of us, not just to some who are worried about their property value. Is parking a pain sometimes? Yes, it is, but more so by Jazz Fest and Voodoo. Are you proposing that the city does away with those, too?

  27. Money generated by the festival rental charges should be specifically dedicated to the maintenance and improvement of the Bayou and not dumped into the general coffers of the City.

    Also, organizations that already invest back into the Bayou — such as the Mothership Foundation — should be given credit toward the rent charges for those investments.

  28. Despite absurd comments like N.O. is a big prison, I hope reasonable folks on both sides can contribute to the discussion. Recently the volleyball guys and the canoe rental folks voluntarily yielded to neighbor’s concern, and I feel laid a groundwork for compromise. Unfortunately, some people say don’t worry until the music is already too loud. But if you can see it coming why not plan ahead. Eddie is in a way in agreement with the “controllers”. (He’s also a great carpenter!) The “controllers” are saying you can’t make money selling a wedding every weekend on the public pedestrian bridge and not allow neighbors to cross for hours. You can’t fence off the bayou for your sport exclusively. These are the true dangers to public access. Not the neighbors.

  29. I am not at all distrustful of discussion on protecting the bayou, but when they’re couched in statements about how activity on the bayou somehow detracts from one’s “gorgeous historic home,” then I see a gated-community style agenda at work. We’ve already lost the lakefront to the 1 percent. The bayou, like the lake, is a natural feature, not something belonging to property owners on in the nearby neighborhoods. Any policies for its use need to be forged city-wide, not by local property owners.

    • Your comments are well taken, but off mark in one respect. As a nearby homeowner I can assure you of no desire to restrict public use of the land. Your outcry might better be against the Voodoo organizers, the numerous commercial road races and those who want to build fenced-in volleyball courts. These are the only Gating plans I have ever heard of, and they clearly restrict the public to ticket buying customers. I don’t find it fair to describe the people who make the area beautiful with their personal and civic efforts as being excluders. The history and its preservation is for all to enjoy.

  30. I understand charging a fee for festivals, as long as the proceeds of that fee is put back into bayou restoration and/or maintenance.
    However kayaking, volleyball, picnics, etc. should in absolutely no way be limited. Why have a wonderful public space if you aren’t allowed to use it??

  31. I have lived in Parkview for almost 60 years and have never seen the Bayou as a dangerous, crime ridden place nor dirty. Where in the hell did that observation come from? The neighborhood associations and the residents have always been proactive to pick up litter and maintain the area. I often have walked my dogs very late at night on the Bayou and have always felt safe. Litter is worse now with all the impromptu parties on the banks and Magnolia Bridge and the events especially the 4th of July Boat Parade and the Earth Day Festival. And the residents’ gardens, lawns and driveways are used as urinals. The Bayou in fact use to be a lot cleaner when it use to be drained at least once a year and all the debris pulled out. The Bayou is not a free marina and all the boats that are left by inconsiderate people should be taken home by them. Would they like a boat or car chained up to the tree in front of their homes on city property for months only to fill up with stagnant water and dead rats? I don’t think anyone in the neighborhood is opposed to the use of the Bayou for boating, walking, picnics, fishing, etc. But have some consideration for the neighborhood and respect for the Bayou. There are many No Parking signs posted along the banks and are just ignored by people driving and parking on the banks. The banks are now rutted and compressed. Boats are left on the banks making grass cutting impossible. The events on the Bayou do not enforce the No Parking on the banks and have many very heavy vehicles stationed on the banks the duration of the event. And those events do make money and should pay to use the banks of the Bayou. They certainly charge a fee to the merchants, food/drink vendors and business owners promoting their businesses don’t they? So the event promoters want a free ride? Any other event space would require a fee wouldn’t they? The Bayou is an historic waterway and should be treated with respect and managed to protect it.

  32. What I am getting out of this is to keep the poors away just like the Lakefront. Why should this dude get to tell an entire city what to do with its waterways? I lived in this area for a long time, but at least I know that fact does not give me the right to dictate my will to others. I share because that is what those before me did and it is what I should do for the next residents here. Keep playing on the bayou, be it ball or music. All I ask is to be responsible and respect the natural surrounding which made it all possible.

  33. Think festivals like Bayou Boogaloo? Think again.

    Advocate: Last year, for example, Jefferson generated $310.7 million in sales taxes, excluding taxes generated from the sale of food and drugs, automobiles and hotel and motel rooms in the parish. Orleans Parish brought in just $162.9 million, but that includes every category, meaning the gap between the two parishes is even greater.
    http://bit.ly/1eCPYPg

    Jeff Parish doesn’t have a lot of touristy things, hotels, French Quarter, Superdome or music events. Yet they still make more than twice as much as Orleans Parish.

    Basically Festival are MONEY LOSERS for the city. The garbage and extra security eat up all those so called sales tax dollars very easily. Long term, the social services also have to pay for drunks and addicts rehab and housing.

    And Just look at what Bayou Boogaloo is complaining about? $10,000 dollars extra? That should be nothing if that festival brought in MILLIONS, of even just a few hundred thousand, correct? Clearly, it can’t even cover $10,000 dollars!!!

    Plus venders THINK they make money but forget to take into account the time for setup and take down and festival fees and equipment needed. Basically break even at best. If they were to actually make money/profit, they would have something to show for it after all these years (or decades for some festivals), but they don’t.

    Festivals are all BIG TALK…just like Mardi Gras is Big Talk…all money losers except for the promoter.

    And see the French Quarter? Do you think there are really a lot of people on Bourbon St? Think again. French Quarter Streets are like 24 to 28 feet wide, wall to wall. FQ has some of the most narrow streets in America due it being designed 200+ years ago….before cars or even the steam engine.

    • AhContraire…

      You do realize that is an article that talks about how Orleans Parish residents travel to Jefferson for shopping. Do you think that might have any impact of the tax revenue discrepancy?

      Why is it that it’s the festivals that are to blame? Because we have more than Jefferson? I don’t see any evidence of a correlation between festivals and lost tax revenues.

      The biggest reason events like the Super Bowl and the Olympics lose money for a city is due to the infrastructure investment. And while they only did work in the French Quarter and CBD for the Super Bowl, they fixed tons of sidewalks and handicap ramps throughout the downtown area. And this time they actually held them to the ADA and City specifications (I know of a contractor that had to redo 90 HCR’s because the grades were too steep.They did lose money due to their own incompetence).

      So, the service and construction industries benefit. And that isn’t just the owners. That means bigger tips and overtime hours for the workers, which feeds into other sectors of the economy.

      And you’re also against Mardi Gras? So you hate Mardi Gras, festivals, big events, and the French Quarter? You must either hate New Orleans or forgot to take your meds.

  34. “Hey, you kids get off of my grass!”
    Perhaps the fee could go directly towards greening the bayou thus would be no change to mothership contributions to same.
    Other than that public space is public space and needs to be maintained accordingly. Any private effort is lagniappe and should be appreciated.

    I live in the BSJ area.

  35. PEOPLE! CAN WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?

  36. Sorry, edit, “Think festivals like Bayou Boogaloo? Think again.”

    it should be

    “Think festivals like Bayou Boogaloo make any money? Think again.”

  37. FINANCIAL POINTS:
    If Superbowls and Olympics don’t make money for the host cities, how can Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, FQ Fest, Bayou Boogaloo, Bayou Classic n Essence make money?

    Except for the EVENT PROMOTER and ORGANIZERS, who really makes money?

    Special Events are only a few hours, can you really eat/drink that much more if no event as you need 2 eat and drink anyway?

    Are special events like the California Gold Rush? Event promoters, those selling picks n shovels, are the only one’s making money? All Big Talk.

    Don’t be surprised Event Promoters pay people to support the event in one form or the other. They do it all the time for like ticket sales and to drum up HYPE for events like concerts, etc.

  38. The neighborhood has cleaned and maintained the bayou for years.
    To say that the bayou was not respected or cared for is just wrong.

    The bayou was overgrown after “the storm”. But, so was a lot of New Orleans then. The Orleans Levee Board mows it regularly now.

    Most folks are happy to see the bayou enjoyed by all. Unfortunately, there are visitors who believe that its ok to leave their stuff behind. It’s no different than if someone parked a junk car across the street from your house. At first you don’t mind. Then the tires start to go flat. It gets broken into because it is obviously abandoned. Then eventually it gets towed away.

    The law should be no different for vehicles (boats) on the bayou. The bayou is a recreation area for everyone. Would City Park take action if people chained their cars to the trees? You bet they would. Why? Because it is a recreation area for everyone, not a parking area for a select few.

    Cars are not supposed to be parked on the street for over 24 hours. They are supposed to be used to transport folks not sit idle endlessly. When the boats get filled with stagnant water, get trash thrown in them and sit sinking and stinking on the bayou, folks get annoyed. Just as you would if a junk car sat in front of your house for months.

    Everyone I know thinks it is great that folks enjoy the bayou. Unfortunately, like most things, there are the 1% of visitors who feel like it is their god-given right to chain their stuff up on the bayou for months and even years then forget about it. The bayou is not a marina for a select few. It is a bayou to be enjoyed by everyone. Folks need to take their trash and vehicles (boats) with them when they leave.

    • Charlie, the solution to boats on the bayou seems simple to me: find a location for a low-cost dry storage “marina” somewhere along the banks of the Bayou, perhaps near the dental school where the commercial kayak operations are. Utilize racks like those formerly along Marconi for the rowing teams. Charge a reasonable, at-cost rent. As a boat owner, I know you don’t get to store a boat on the water for free. You pay a marina or for dry storage or you haul it to the water, launch and retreive it, and haul it home when you’re done. A kayak or a canoe is not a special class of boat. Owners should expect to pay something if they want easy and immediate access to the water.

      • Yes Mark, that simple idea has been around for years.
        And, yes, you don’t leave your boat chained at other State facilities so, why would you leave your boat chained on Bayou St. John?

  39. The bayou is a public space.
    It’s not our fault you built property over looking it and now don’t want your scene from your window be disturbed.

    • Some of those houses on the Bayou are truly historic and built well over 200 years ago. So, that is a stupid comment.

  40. I think it’s important that we separate out the issues here:

    1st: The abandoned kayaks and canoes: This is absolutely something that needs to be dealt with; it leaves the bayou junky and infested with mosquitoes. Why not contact one of the paddleboard/kayak groups that operates on BSJ and have them manage it? They could mark the abandoned boats and if they are left there for, say, one week without being claimed, they could cut them and either a) store them for resale or b) “lost and found” them with a fee for reclaiming or c) dispose of them.

    2nd: Festivals: As far as I can tell their are four “major” festivals on BSJ as of right now: Bayou Boogaloo (which everyone seems to love and not want to go away), the Gospel Fest, the 4th of July boat parade & Earth Day fest. Outside of of the Boogaloo, there is no way the other fests could support a few of $10K. This would actually do the BSJ a disservice as the ONLY festivals that COULD pay 10K for an event would be a festival of large proportion. (Think about that.) Also, even though the Boogaloo MIGHT be able to afford the 10K doesn’t mean it should. The Mothership Foundation has put at least as much back into BSJ as it has taken from it…all while providing a free, safe and clean fest. The fee structure is too high if we want the Boogaloo to remain free and to be able to continue to support the bayou as it has. Perhaps a fee structure that mirrors the popularity of the event?

    3rd: Passive use, parties, weddings, volleyball: Every “public park” in New Orleans charges a fee for congregating groups. It costs you $50 for a permit fee to host a gathering in BOTH Audubon & City Parks. I think it would be fair to charge the same $50 if you intend on having a gathering of more than 50 people at a time. There are also rules around amplified music. These fees could go to increasing the amount of trashcans at the event or increased security. If you or your little group wants to go hang out and have a picnic or walk your dog or throw a Frisbee, or whatever…DO IT. There should be no regulation on these kinds of activities (just as there isn’t at other public parks.)

    Finally: Environmental concerns. Everyone needs to just come to the consensus that BSJ needs some help. Whether it was worse before or after Katrina is moot. Instead of arguing over semantics, figure out a way to move forward so that there is something in place to fix the problem and people feel comfortable. Earth Day Fest happens ON THE BAYOU. Seems like an obvious choice for some input.

    Anyway, that’s my two cents. As a closing thought: The Bayou is a lot like “WHO DAT”. It belongs to us all. We all get input in how it gets used and we all get to use it.

    • 2nd: Festivals: As far as I can tell their are four “major” festivals on BSJ as of right now: Bayou Boogaloo (which everyone seems to love and not want to go away), the Gospel Fest, the 4th of July boat parade & Earth Day fest. Outside of of the Boogaloo, there is no way the other fests could support a few of $10K. This would actually do the BSJ a disservice as the ONLY festivals that COULD pay 10K for an event would be a festival of large proportion. (Think about that.) Also, even though the Boogaloo MIGHT be able to afford the 10K doesn’t mean it should. The Mothership Foundation has put at least as much back into BSJ as it has taken from it…all while providing a free, safe and clean fest. The fee structure is too high if we want the Boogaloo to remain free and to be able to continue to support the bayou as it has. Perhaps a fee structure that mirrors the popularity of the event?

      If there is NO FREE LUNCH, how can there be a free festival?

      NOLA residents, as well as Louisiana residents, need to learn the lesson of history and business and accept there no such thing as a free festival, free party or a free show like Mardi Gras.

      The Bayou St. John residents don’t want it to be come like the French Gutter with constant festivals, parking problems and drunks year round.

      Some musicians think the FQ street are free and they can play music all the time for tips, but that’s not true. The streets are not FREE and are not maintained for FREE. The property owners PAY for that PUBLIC street, not street musicians as many don’t even pay taxes on their tips as it’s all cash.

      The French Gutter, with all it’s HYPE, has nothing to show it but crime and high city service costs as it certainly has nothing to show for in sales taxes or economic impact.

    • 2nd: Festivals: As far as I can tell their are four “major” festivals on BSJ as of right now: Bayou Boogaloo (which everyone seems to love and not want to go away), the Gospel Fest, the 4th of July boat parade & Earth Day fest. Outside of of the Boogaloo, there is no way the other fests could support a few of $10K.

      So are you saying the PUBLIC which, by the way, consists of the BSJ Property Tax Payers, should FOOT the BILL for those 3 other ‘major’ festivals: the Gospel Fest, the 4th of July boat parade & Earth Day fest?

      And do these festival organizers want a FREE LUNCH (i.e. FREE SHOW) to be paid for by the Property Tax Payers of BSJ? Someone has to pay for this, correct? There is no such thing as a free lunch, so how can there be such thing as a free show or free festival?

  41. Obviously this is a discussion that needs to happen so there is a good reason for creating a plan.

    I totally understand why people want to moor boats on the bayou, especially if they want to use them often and don’t live very close nearby. There seems like an obvious solution to this problem, which I haven’t seen mentioned, and that is to have an entity set up some kayak storage somewhere along the bayou, where people can rent storage spots and keep their stuff there.

    That way, if people are not willing to rent a storage spot, or not willing to remove their kayaks every time they use them, they get impounded and they have to pay to get them out. If they don’t, the kayaks can be sold and used to pay for managing the kayak facility.

  42. RE: ” Greener Bayou St. John members decided each neighborhood association would be responsible for getting input from residents about what to include in the master plan.”

    No one anywhere has elected or appointed any neighborhood association to represent them. In the system of representational democracy we live under, the smallest granular elected representative is the City Council Member. It is their job to canvas their constituents on matters like this. As a member of a neighborhood association I can tell you that as much as they may want to, they don’t represent their neighborhood. They represent the opinion of the few who can take the time to show up and even among those who show up the opinions vary all over the spectrum. Some neighborhood associations are open to all and some are run as private lobbyist groups. They have no legal or moral authority to speak for the residents of a neighborhood.

    • You could participate in the Greener Bayou St. John Coalition. The way I read them is that they are looking for help. It would be useful for one entity to specialize in the upkeep of the bayou. Right now, there are many, ineffective, desperate players and its not working so well. I love boats but the bayou is becoming the city parking lot for mosquito-filled abandoned boats. That’s one issue that’s been plaguing the bayou for years and its never been solved. There was recently a “festival” that was so loud, I heard it a mile away. I live next to the Jazz Fest and didn’t hear that as loud. Its out of control. We have a good role model in Boogaloo on the Bayou and I would like for everyone to be as thoughtful. Those are issues I want the Greener Bayou St. John Coalition to manage. Currently no one manages them so groups that have no interest in the health of the bayou just ask this one and that one until they get some license or pay a fee to do whatever they like. There’s no place else in New Orleans that is so open to destructive exploitation. We need some help.

  43. In regards to festivals & economic impact, will NOLA learn there is no free lunch?

    And if there is no free lunch, do festivals and special events, e.g. Mardi Gras, FQ Fest, Bayou Boogaloo, Strawberry Fest, Superbowl, Final Four, BCS really bring in the economic impact HYPED & PROMOTED by festival organizers?

    Free lunch – Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/?Free_lunch
    A free lunch is a sales enticement that offers a meal at no cost in order to attract customers and increase revenues from other offerings. It was a tradition once common in saloons in many places in the United States, with the phrase appearing in U.S. literature from about 1870 to 1920. These establishments included a “free” lunch, varying from rudimentary to quite elaborate, with the purchase of at least one drink. These free lunches were typically worth far more than the price of a single drink.[1] The saloon-keeper relied on the expectation that most customers would buy more than one drink, and that the practice would build patronage for other times of day.

    And by the way, why are there so many news action reports to highlight this street fix or that street fix? Shouldn’t there be lot of money from all these festivals and special events to at least fix the lights by now?

  44. The individuals behind the push to limit use of Bayou St. John are calling themselves the “Bayou St. John-Lafitte Neighborhood Organization”. They have listed their boundaries with the city as: Bayou St. John, Broad St., Lafitte St., Orleans Ave. I live 2 blocks away and have never heard of this organization. Their contact information is listed as: bayoustjohn.lafitte@gmail.com. Please email them directly with your thoughts, concerns or questions.

  45. Its taken a lot of work, nutria abatement, bank repair, plantings, etc. to restore the bayou and its environs. For preservation efforts to continue to be successful, use and enjoyment of the bayou must be thoughtful and respectful. That would exclude altering the environment for commercial or other uses.
    Its just a reality that its a small body of water in the midst of a residential area that can tolerate limited amount of traffic and noise. There are many larger, less populated, less environmentally sensitive areas in New Orleans that can handle festival after festival, marathon after marathon, volley ball tournaments until all hours, etc. so that there is no reason to repeatedly trample the little bayou.

  46. I’m surprised they haven’t tried to get the Ideal gas station to shut down. They must like the food.

  47. [...] Susan Guidry told Mid-City Messenger that the city wants to start charging for festivals to use Bayou St. John, as reported in a Jan. 12 [...]

  48. [...] January, Eubanks said that he envisions a conservation organization stewarding and protecting Bayou St. John, like the Bayou St. John Conservation Alliance did in 2008.  The coalition of 20 [...]

  49. [...] anything — even though the word was publicized in the media. In a previous article, former Parkview Neighborhood Association President Jean Lichtfuss — who identified herself at …– told Mid-City Messenger that she wanted to see the bayou limited so there’s less [...]

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