On Losing Our Cities – A Parallel

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Jane Jacobs
Jane Jacobs, author, activist would be 100 today

by Marion Marks

Shreveport’s focus on the interstate 49 corridor to join the long-delayed north-south highway is tearing apart our city as we claim we are concerned with the character, growth, assimilation, legacy and potential for a historic section of our city. Author and activist Jane Jacobs who would have been 100 years old today expressed thoughts on the soul of American cities in her 1961 The Death and Life of Great American Cities that is a rebuttal of much urban planning that remains too prevalent even now. In today’s quest for optimizing city transportation routes that promote economic development over saving the cultural character and neighborhoods in the city, we have lost our soul.

City planners too often come to the table with suitcases of study that are no more than expert witnesses who travel to pedal an economic posture to support one developer over another, greedily seeking to mine federal funds and local wallets. The soul of Shreveport, just as Moses-Highway-BLDZRthe soul of Garden City in Jacobs text, is a set of historically established neighborhoods that are defined by Read more

Public Corruption Issues Will be Addressed at BNA Meeting

BNA Past meeting
BNA meetings have excellent attendance!

Local and federal government officials charged with enforcing anti-corruption laws will answer questions about their work at a Broadmoor Neighborhood Association meeting Tuesday, May 10. Speakers will describe their jurisdictions in the area of government corruption and how they work in tandem with other law-enforcement agencies. Audience questions will be taken and answered by panelists. Citizen confusion exists as far as understanding how the various governmental agencies address reports regarding specific illegal acts alleged to have been committed.

Specific confusion among citizens concerns a belief that a one-stop shop opportunity should exist for citizens to Read more

Louisiana Justice – Pay to Play!

by Marion Marks

If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.
Based on popular TV and movies, too many people believe this is how the system works. Scales_of_JusticelHowever, in the twilight zone of Louisiana, when the state can’t afford to pay a lawyer either, many citizens charged with crimes will be discovering that the jail will be a crueler place to be. The critical issue the public and taxpayers will be forced to face was discussed Thursday, April 21 at LSUS with statewide participants, and the only consensus seemed to be regarding the existence of the fact that the problem exists and will soon be more severe.

LSUS ForumThose in attendance numbered less that a hundred, but a complete recording of the evening may be viewed HERE. Members of the panel were qualified to define aspects of the problem included:
Pamela Smart, Caddo Parish Public Defender
James T. Dixon Jr., Louisiana State Public Defender
Honorable Brady O’Callaghan, District Judge, First Judicial Read more

Inquisitive Journalism is Not Blasphemy, Donald Trump

Underwood-Typewriter
writing is still hard work!

by Marion Marks

Taking the mantle of a somewhat serious journalist is to recognize that you will be labeled an “odd person.” Your primary journalistic task is to question the actions and being of people who make decisions that change our world by interrogating their pivotal acts and stating publicly that a generally accepted policy or action of a leading citizen deserves greater public scrutiny. To the end that you are willing to even raise questions, you must be secure enough in your person and your interrogative style that you will often stand against popular platforms and elected officials. You must appear to be a grump or even a foul public entity in the eyes of various community segments. It comes with the territory.Journalism

Being inquisitive or demanding answers can be seen as blasphemous because you demand that others should also be extroverts in your discontent with the status quo. In questioning the system you must be open-minded and often incredulous to facts that cause you to demand that revelations will support your inquisitiveness.

There’s reason that our work is animated with sarcasm and sharp graphics that may bring chuckles and sometime joy for readers. Our belief is that there are almost Read more

Prosecutions Halted by Judge, Defendants Released!

Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Judge Arthur HunterBy Marion Marks

The defendants’ constitutional rights are not contingent upon budget demands, waiting lists and the failure of the legislature to adequately fund indigent defense,” Orleans Parish District Judge Arthur Hunter said in his 11-page ruling. “In this country, a person who cannot afford an attorney and who has not been convicted, should not remain in jail without a date certain when proceedings will begin and when funding will be made available by the legislature to exercise his constitutional rights to an attorney and effective assistance of counsel.” [NOLA ARTICLE]

Judge Hunter ordered a halt to prosecutions and an end to pretrial incarceration for seven felony defendants for whom the state has been unable to find funding for lawyers and defense preparations. It was that simple and that complex for citizens who were victim Read more

Shreveport: Our Culture is Never a Cost Efficient “Bargain”

Your Voice is Your Voteby Marion Marks

The voters spoke, and tax millages have been renewed in Caddo Parish to support the Caddo Parish School Board [all children] and the Port of Caddo-Bossier. But, if ever a critic states that a city, a neighborhood or a district is a “bargain,” those seeking to experience a unique cultural experience should run as rapidly as possible in the opposite direction. Developers or politicians who seek to fashion Shreveport and Caddo Parish in the image of other southern cities should reevaluate the message they are peddling. Shreveport citizens need to study again what happened to other cities to guarantee Shreveport doesn’t fall victim to any similar schemes.

This Isn't CultureThe concept of a unique cultural experience for a city cannot be packaged as mass marketers attempt to sell fast food or a vacation destination experience. The very concept of a neighborhood or a community that possesses a unique heart, soul and cultural identity or a measure of definable culture must recognize the slow, eclectic and necessarily old-side of the community, one devoid of a Read more

Wear the Crazy Mantle -Vote Yes

by Marion MarksVote Thumbs Up

Among the greatest advantages of being very young or very old is the ability to accept being called crazy or idealistic. The young are excused because of their innocence or naivety, whereas the old are addled or senile. Yet there is truth in the oft quoted saying, “out of the mouth of babes…”

Politics and life collect the bitterest of critics, quite often as a response to greed, envy and struggles for fear of a loss of control. Accepting choices that are not our own, seen as giving up control by many, or becoming a loyal follower, is difficult for people who expect to always be in control. And society or the media has attempted to educate citizens that they should always be able to control their destiny. Regretfully, appreciating the differences in what parts of ones life where this is possible as opposed to where it is not is a systemic failure. Read more