Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Photos Jan 24, 07

All photos courtesy of, taken by and copyrighted by, Robb Tilley (2007)

Abandoned Apartments on Waveland Ave, BSL

Abandoned House on Waveland Ave

Tree Roots From Storm Wash in Fire Dog Saloon's Parking Lot.

Fire Dog Saloon from Big Daddy's Side. They say they'll rebuild, but likely not at this site. However, no new word on if they truly are.

Debris From Destroyed Home on Main Street.

FEMA on Private Land. Too common of a site. Rebuilding is a slow process.

Abandoned Nursing Home at Ulman and Beach. Where are their elderly supposed to go?

Abandoned home on Nicholson. Check the roof - a bite was taken out of it.

Abandoned home on Court Street. They gave up.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Art In The Bay

Feb 9, 2007, 17:22

In addition to today's usual Second Saturday fare will be work by Indiana wood carver Dayle K. Lewis and Louisiana carver Amy Canada. The duo will be set up on the corner of Second St. and Main St. in Bay St. Louis all day.
Carvings are made from local, storm damaged wood, mainly pine, pecan and live oak, said Lewis. The pair, along with Lewis' wife Gayle have been working for several days to create wood statues ranging from alligators, to bears, to angels, to fleur de lis. They will also be working at the site on Saturday. You can bring your own wood.
Dayle Lewis, above, and Amy Canada, below, carve sculptures out of trees felled during Hurricane Katrina as part of the KatRita Wood Project. The artists will in Old Town today for Second Saturday.
Canada said she hopes to donate a portion of the proceeds to the Leetown Fire Department towards their building fund. Lewis joined in because, he said, he had planned to come down as a volunteer anyway and the chance to help and do what he loves worked out well. This is his second trip to the area.
The idea for using the felled Katrina wood for a carving project came about as a result of the need Canada said she felt to stop the enormous waste of wood after the storm. She first looked into milling the wood for lumber but came to dead ends, she said.
A website gave her the idea to recruit carvers. She posted a message and within five minutes answers came in by email and by phone. People were interested.
Since then Canada has organized several 'carve-ins."
With a chain saw, blow torch, grinder, sander, stains and a little paint Lewis, and Canada, can create just about anything your heart desires.
This week the group gathered behind the old Ruth's Cakery on Court St. to work for three days before setting up shop today. Prices set on pieces are suggested donations that will cover costs, Canada said.
Using his art to help others is nothing new to Lewis. He donates several thousand dollars worth of hand carved sculptures for fundraising events each year. Right now he is involved in a project to raise funds for a soup kitchen in Richmond. To do so he is creating a series of angels.
When he is not working at his home on 4 acres in Richmond, Indiana Lewis travels around the country to various festivals to create and sell his wares. He also works on commission orders, both at his home and the home of his clients. As he puts it, "I make house calls."
"The thing I like the most is to go in a back yard and watch the people's faces as they watch the transformation from a stump to a creation," said Lewis.
Lewis was raised on a dairy farm in Pratt, Kansas and trained as and Industrial Engineer. He started carving, by hand, in 1992 and with a chain saw in 1996. He went full time into carving in 2002 when he was laid off from his engineering job due to downsizing.
It was scary, at first, Lewis said, but now he loves the freedom. He also teaches classes in wood carving.
"It's creative, it's fun and you get paid – that is everybody's dream," said Lewis. He gives ultimate credit for his creativity and gift to God's inspiration, he says.

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More Politics In The Bay

Turmoil in Bay St. Louis government is escalating right up to the top level.
The city's long-time attorney, John A. Scafide Jr., is tossing in his towel. And City Council has refused to appoint the mayor's pick for chief of police, Deputy Chief Tom Burleson.
And while some say development in the city is spiraling literally out of control, Mayor Eddie Favre is being blasted for failing to hire a new chief building official. The slot has been empty since William R. Carrigee quit, under fire, in September.
Scafide refused to be interviewed Tuesday on his decision to leave his post as top legal eagle after 22 years in that key position. He apparently wouldn't have mentioned his departure at all, but for the fact that Ward 2 council member James C. Thriffiley III shot a sudden question directly at Scafide about it during a meeting.
Asked his intentions and status, Scafide said simply he would be gone by the end of March. Later, he said he might leave at the end of February.
There had been some quiet talk in recent weeks that Scafide was considering retiring or resigning – what he's doing is not clear. But his abrupt departure comes at a critical juncture in the city's history, no matter which it is.
The son of a former mayor, Scafide is seen as an expert in the areas of city and county zoning, subdivision regulations, real estate law and the municipal code. He has an incredible reservoir of personal recollections about the city's history.
The city is under fire to zone the newly annexed area, adopt a new comprehensive plan, change the old zoning and subdivision regulations and adopt a redistricting plan. Plus, there's a new historic preservation ordinance in the wings, all of which would have come under Scafide's scrutiny after hired outside planners come up with recommendations.
He gets paid a $500 monthly retainer, and charges $75 an hour for additional work for the city.
When it once appeared that Scafide might be in a conflict of interest situation due to proposed casino development in the early 90's, the city hired attorney Donald J. Rafferty to staff all casino-related matters.
In recent years, Rafferty has assumed a much broader role than that, however, taking over some of the workload Scafide otherwise would have had.
Meanwhile, council went behind closed doors for about a half hour at 11 p.m. Tuesday night to debate the mayor's proposed appointment of Tom Burleson as chief of police. Favre had told the Sea Coast Echo several weeks ago he would elevate Burleson from deputy chief to the top slot, once Frank McNeil's retirement became effective.
Favre said Burleson deserved a shot at the chief's job, having climbed through the ranks and amassed great experience, including training at the FBI academy. Moving him to the top slot set off a round of proposed personnel shifts just below him – and triggered some fury in the process.
Some say they expect a civil action to be filed by at least one unhappy officer who saw plans to promote lesser experienced officers ahead of him.
Since executive sessions are closed, it's not clear what prompted council to set aside Burleson's appointment. But it's generally believed council members had wanted a broader consideration for the top post than automatically elevating Burleson.
In the Fire Department, Favre had to launch a full fledged investigation recently to quell discontent among the personnel there. At one time, half the fire fighters were said to be ready to call it quits over personnel actions internally.
And the vacancy at the top of the Building Department came with the chief building official's resignation, along with several of his staffers, amid widespread controversy.
In a rare display of anger and frustration Tuesday, the usually calm, reserved Ward 4 council member Bobby Compretta demanded action. "It's so important...We need to do something about the Building Department."
Compretta said Favre's chief assistant, Harold "Buz" Olsen is too busy, wearing too many municipal hats to be effective in leading the building department. And Compretta said if the city needs to up its $48,000 salary level of the job, so be it. He demanded to see a list of pay comparables in this area.
And meanwhile, Compretta said the city simply has forgotten or ignored its moratorium on condominium construction, leaving it wide open to happen.
The city has no code provisions governing condominium construction. "I make a motion to extend the moratorium for six more months Let's do something!" he almost yelled. His motion passed unanimously, quickly and without debate.
Earlier in the meeting, Compretta's predecessor in office Tad Black, told council he's glad he's no longer among them.
But Black said lack of Building Department oversight has left the city pockmarked with junk, illegal billboards and trailers being stacked up on pilings, without permits. Buildings are being built without site plan reviews, he said, providing no required screening or green space.
Black served two terms as Ward 4 council member, then lost a bid for mayor.

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