JT covered City Council Monday evening and was interested in a request to rezone a lot on Bossier Street near the railroad track. Old timers will know it as the lot adjacent to the one where a funeral home once stood.
The request was from James Melvin Clark who wants to build a four-unit apartment building there. It was introduced and will likely pass at the next council meeting. District 3 Councilperson Sylvia Morrow recounted to JT that she knows of people in Houston who are interested in buying the shopping center across the street. Morrow is in hopes they will, in an effort to revitalize that section of Bossier Street, as Rev. Clark hopes to do. While Morrow has often been a thorn in the sides of former Mayor Wayne McCullen and present mayor Lee Posey, it does seem that she is interested in community renewal and is persistent in her efforts to learn about it in hopes of bringing such an effort to West Natchitoches.
JT has kept abreast of the proposed effort by the school board to band schools for increased learning but has oft wondered how it would affect one of his favorite projects, the L.P. Vaughn School of Fine Arts.
The school’s founder, Danny Von Kanel, called this week to tell JT that he will move from L.P. Vaughn to East Natchitoches when school starts but plans to keep the academy float and rename it the East Natchitoches School of Fine Arts. Danny is busy raising money that allows the school to hire Northwestern music students to teach the classes that include music and drama and offer students extracurricular exposure to fine arts programs not offered during regular school hours.
Danny is among the ultimate fundraisers in the parish and for four years has raised in excess of $10,000 each year, solely to benefit the fine arts academy. He plans to bring creative and performing arts students from Southern University to the fundraiser in the fall. The money he raises allows the students to receive $150 scholarships to the school. Danny knows just what to say to get corporations, business owners and individuals to contribute to the school and we know more than one CEO who says they just can’t tell Danny no.
JT is so glad the school will continue.