New Orleans area briefs for Jan. 6, 2013.

New Orleans bureau

Green Light launches bulb campaign

Green Light New Orleans has set the goal of installing 80,000 free energy efficient light bulbs for more than 3,000 New Orleans households through March.

The volunteer campaign, called March on Climate Change, would bring about $3.6 million in energy savings for local participants and offset 35 million pounds of CO2.

The nonprofit is seeking volunteers to help with the campaign. The nonprofit has already served 17,000 homes, according to Andreas Hoffman, executive director.

The first 500 people who volunteer with Green Light New Orleans for at least two service days before the end of March will receive a free gift card to one of many local shops and establishments.

More than 800 volunteers, or an estimated 12,000 volunteer hours, will be needed to reach Green Light New Orleans’ goal.

Information is available at www.greenlightneworleans.org or by calling the Green Light office at (504) 324-2429.

St. Charles receives recovery grant

St. Charles Parish will receive a nearly $2.4 million federal grant to help the parish recover from Hurricane Isaac, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Friday.

The FEMA Public Assistance grant will help reimburse the parish for costs to remove and dispose of hurricane-related debris and downed trees from public streets and parish-owned property.

The grant covers the federal share of the parish’s eligible costs for the work. Under a cost-sharing formula, FEMA reimburses the state for 75 percent of the total costs, while the state and/or applicant pay the remaining 25 percent.

The newly obligated funds are a portion of the more than $171.2 million in total Public Assistance recovery dollars approved for the state since the Aug. 29 disaster declaration.

St. John gets food, shelter funds

For the 30th year, St. John the Baptist Parish has been awarded federal funds made available through the Department of Homeland Security, under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program, to supplement existing emergency food and shelter programs in the parish.

St. John United Way, which serves as fiscal monitor and local contact for the program, has been notified that the parish has been awarded $28,105.

The program is run by a national board of affiliates of national voluntary organizations and chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It consists of representatives from The Salvation Army; American Red Cross; The Jewish Federations of North America; Catholic Charities, USA; National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA; and United Way Worldwide.

The Local EFSP Board is charged to distribute funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.

The local board,will determine how the funds awarded to St. John Parish are distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service organizations in the parish.

Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds must contact Greg Maurin at 985-618-1425 or John Olynick at (985) 651-9118 by Jan. 16 for an application.

The deadline for the completed application is 3 p.m. Jan. 24.

Disability Council
to hold meeting

The Louisiana Rehabilitation Council will meet Jan. 24-25, and employers, disability advocates and the public are invited to attend the two-day meeting, which will be held at Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Louisiana, 3400 Tulane Ave.

The Thursday session will be from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will feature a three-hour training by Region VI Technical Assistance and Continuing Education Center officials. They will provide LRC members with guidance on their role in determining the needs of citizens with disabilities, in partnership with the state’s rehabilitation program. Friday’s session, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., includes a vocational rehabilitation success story, a public forum and updates from various agency representatives.

The 25-member LRC, appointed by the governor, meets quarterly to provide advice and guidance to Louisiana Rehabilitation Services leadership. LRS, a department within the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s Office of Workforce Development, works to help people with disabilities obtain and maintain employment through its flagship Vocational Rehabilitation program.

For information or help with special accommodations for those who are disabled, such as an interpreters, contact Paige Kelly at either (225) 219-2947 or (800) 737-2958 or by email, pkelly1@lwc.la.gov.

St. Charles fills government posts

St. Charles Parish government will begin the year 2013 with a new emergency director and chief administrative officer.

Ronald J. Perry, of Norco, is taking the reins of the parish’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. He was confirmed by a unanimous vote of the parish council Dec. 17. Perry comes to the parish from Entergy’s Waterford 3 Nuclear Station, where he served as emergency planning coordinator since 1982.

Buddy Boe has been selected as the parish’s new chief administrative officer, taking over the position from retiring Tim Vial, a 32-year parish government veteran.

Boe most recently worked as president of his own strategic planning and public relations consulting firm, Invictus Solutions. He also served as acting chief administrative officer and communications director during his tenure at St. John the Baptist Parish from 2007-10.

Retired teachers hold training workshop

Louisiana Retired Teachers Association will hold an advocacy training workshop for its members in District I from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Jan. 15 at Chalmette Elementary School, Training Center, second floor.

Topics on the agenda include how to prepare letters to the editors of local newspapers, how to write press releases, composing emails and using information supplied by the LRTA office in Baton Rouge. Training will be provided on accessing important information on the website of the Louisiana legislature, and a review of the LRTA website also will be incorporated into the presentation.

Invited guests include the LRTA district and unit presidents, the district legislative coordinators, and legislative contacts. Other LRTA members are also welcome to attend.

St. Tammany
to recycle trees

St. Tammany Parish residents can drop off Christmas trees for recycling at the St. Tammany Parish Fairgrounds in Covington, using the entrance by Lyon Elementary, or at the old Levee Board building in Slidell at 61134 Military Road.

Only bare, green trees will be used; no flocked trees, trees with ornaments or trees with lights will be recycled.

Trees placed out on the curb for trash collection may not be recycled. Residents should contact their trash collection company to find out if they participate in the parishwide tree recycling program.

The deadline for dropping off trees is Jan. 31. Trees may be dropped off from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

St. Tammany District 9 meeting slated

St. Tammany Parish Councilman Gene Bellisario will hold his next District 9 Community Meeting at 7 p.m. Monday in the Boyet Jr. High School cafeteria on Rebel Drive.

Primary discussion topics for the meeting include the rollout of Phase 2 of Garbage Collection District No. 1, a resolution that limits the Parish Council from referring rezoning cases to the Zoning Commision, improvements in 2012 sales tax receipts and a resolution to proceed with refunding sales tax refunding bonds to obtain a lower interest rate. Also on the agenda is a zoning change relating to agricultural uses in residential districts and discussion of two drainage projects in District 9.

Second Harvest receives donation

The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience donated $20,000 to second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana as part of its 20th anniversary celebration.

In 2011, Second Harvest Food Bank was named chief beneficiary for 2012 along with several other local non-profit organizations. For each dollar donated, Second Harvest can provide $15.50 in groceries to families in need.

Program for parents of mentally ill set

The National Alliance on Mental Illness St. Tammany is accepting registration for the NAMI Basics Education Program, a free six-week education program for parents and family caregivers of children and adolescents living with behavioral health issues.

NAMI Basics includes an in-depth look at the major mental illnesses seen in childhood such as ADHD, conduct disorders, bipolar disorder and mental illness with substance use. NAMI Basics focuses on early intervention and treatment, helping parents to navigate both the public school and mental health care systems.

Sessions are led by trained and certified parents and caregivers whose loved ones developed mental illness in childhood. Sessions will be held Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. beginning Jan. 24. Information on location is provided when registering, which is required. The deadline is Jan. 23. To register, contact NAMI St. Tammany at (985) 626-6538 or go to www.namisttammany.org.

Blood Center teams up with pizza shops

The Blood Center bloodmobile will be at Dominos Pizza locations Monday, and donors will get a free small one-topping pizza and the brand new Blood Center “Live It Up” T-shirt.

The bloodmobile will be at the Domino’s Pizza in Kenner, 345 W. Esplanade Ave., from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and at Carrolton Ave. from noon to 5 p.m.

The Blood Center also will have its bloodmobile at several Little Caesar’s locations on the West Bank and at the Chalmette location on Tuesday and Wednesday. The first 25 donors at each location will receive a coupon for a free large one-topping pizza, and all donors will receive the Blood Center T-shirt.

The bloodmobile schedule is as follows: Little Caesar’s Pizza-Terrytown, 1170 Terry Parkway, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday; Little Caesar’s Pizza-Marrero, 2211 Barataria Blvd., from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday; Little Caesar’s Pizza-Westwego, 1347 Westbank Expressway, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wedensday; and Little Caesar’s Pizza-Chalmette, 925 E. Judge Perez Drive, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Donors must be in good health, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be at least 17 years of age to donate blood. Donors who are 16 are eligible to donate; they must weigh 130 pounds and have signed parental consent.

Donors are encouraged to eat a healthful meal and drink plenty of fluids before and after donating. Donors should bring a picture ID.

Compiled by the
New Orleans bureau