The Federation of Greater Baton Rouge Civic Associations reviewed the 2016 flood on Aug. 8 at the East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library.

Speakers were Paul Sawyer, chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Garret Graves; Pat Forbes, Office of Community Development executive director; Dietmar Rietscher, Amite River Basin Commission executive director; Fred Raiford, city-parish director of transportation and development; Kyle Huffstickler, Department of Maintenance director; and Melissa Kennedy with HNTB Engineering Consulting.

Sawyer announced U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood-control projects underway or in the planning stages. Forbes spoke about how collaborative partnerships with neighboring states and parishes, along with data-driven management and a science-based understanding of the risks, will reduce both coastal and inland flooding.

Rietscher gave an overview of the Amite River Basin Commission and an update on the Comite River diversion canal, noting that upon completion it will handle about 40% of the downstream water headed to the Amite River. Kennedy presented a PowerPoint on the status of HNTB’s comprehensive stormwater master plan.

Huffstickler showed pictures of drainage issues, both man-made and natural, seen around the city. He explained the city’s maintenance process and said dumping of trash and leafy, woody and other debris creates massive problems with proper drainage. Raiford said the parish will receive $240 million from the Hazard Mitigation Program to implement the drainage work which must be done.

For more information on the Federation of Greater Baton Rouge Civic Associations, go to, or call President Nancy Curry, (225) 315-1206.

Cortana Kiwanis donates flags to school

The Cortana Kiwanis Club bought a new American flag and Louisiana state flag and presented them to Broadmoor Elementary School Principal Larry Harris at a flag-raising ceremony on Aug. 7.

The club sponsors the school's BUGs program, which encourages and rewards students for bringing up their grades, highlights outstanding students by including them in the Cortana Kiwanis Christmas Parade, donates school supplies and encourages members to become Reading and Math Friends. Cortana Kiwanis meets at 7:30 a.m. Thursdays at the Piccadilly Cafeteria on Sherwood Forest Boulevard.

Bonsai Society discusses crape myrtles

Lowell Tilley led the discussion on care of crape myrtles, with an emphasis on insect control and fertilization at the Louisiana Bonsai Society monthly meeting on Aug. 20.

Several members brought crape myrtles and other bonsai to discuss issues they’ve encountered and how to improve them.

A workshop will be held at the Baton Rouge Garden Center from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, featuring bonsai artist Andrew Robson from Portland, Oregon.

The Louisiana Bonsai Society is a nonprofit organization open to anyone interested in the hobby of bonsai. Monthly meetings are held at the Baton Rouge Garden Center, 7950 Independence Blvd., on the third Tuesday of each month. Visitors are welcome. For information, contact Tilley at (225) 241-2396 or

Cangelosi named CAUW Women United chair

Capital Area United Way announced today that it has appointed Kris Cangelosi, director of Cangelosi Dance Project, as its Women United Executive Committee chair.

Cangelosi will serve a one-year term effective immediately until July 2020. Other committee members are Vice Chair Charlene Montelaro, Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank; Community Impact Chair Martha Brabston, Martha Brabston Executive and Life Coaching; Membership Chair Beth O’Quinn, IBM; past Chair Michelle Hardy, Turner Industries; and members at large Ginger Goudeau, ExxonMobil, and Renee Loiacono, Regions Bank.

As part of the Gottlieb Society of Capital Area United Way (those who give $1,000 or more), Women United seeks to improve the lives of those in the Capital Area with a focus on income stability. For information, email Cangelosi at or visit

Compiled by Advocate staff writer George Morris. The “Community” column runs every Tuesday and Friday in The Advocate. Items should be submitted to “Community,” Advocate eatplaylive section, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821, or emailed to Events should be submitted in a timely fashion. By submitting photos to The Advocate, you agree that they can be published in any of The Advocate’s print or digital publications.

Email George Morris at