New Orleans Briefs for Jan. 20, 2013

New Orleans bureau

Lane closures ahead for Metairie streets

The northbound right lane in the 200 block of Transcontinental Drive in Metaire and the entire eastbound right lane of West Metairie Avenue and Radiance Drive will completely close for street panels repair beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Motorists on Transcontinental will use the left northbound lane for travel until the work is complete Feb. 5 at 3:30 p.m.

Motorists on West Metairie Avenue will use the left lane for travel until the work is finished at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 5. Then the entire left lane will be closed.

The closures are needed to repair broken street panels. Hard Rock Construction is performing the work. The estimated cost of the Transcontinental repairs is $15,483, and the work on West Metairie Avenue will cost an estimated $17,982.

Landrieu receives arts award

Mayor Mitch Landrieu was named a recipient of the 2013 Public Leadership in the Arts Award on Friday by Americans for the Arts, the country’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, and The United States Conference of Mayors.

The award honors elected officials and artists who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the advancement of the arts. Recipients were honored at the The United States Conference of Mayors’ 81st annual winter meeting in Washington, D.C.

Americans for the Arts and USCM have given out the awards annually since 1997.

Landrieu hosted the World Cultural Economic Forum in 2012 as an initiative of the city of New Orleans in partnership with USCM. He charged his office with creating the first Cultural Economy Report for the city quantifying the role of culture on the city’s economy and workforce.

He created the city’s first Office of Cultural Economy, housing it within the Mayor’s Office and increased funding for Community Arts Grants for the first time in more than eight years. He coordinated efforts that made arts and culture part of his place-based planning, including provisions for cultural development in successful grants to HUD and the Department of Transportation.

Panthers player
to hold fundraiser

NFL Pro Bowler and Carolina Panthers’ Wide Receiver Steve Smith will host a fundraiser, “Kick Off Your Shoes,” benefiting Samaritan’s Feet from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Jan. 30 at Chef John Besh’s restaurant August.

ESPN analyst and NFL great Marcellus Wiley will serve as the master of ceremonies.

Samaritan’s Feet is a humanitarian relief organization that has donated more than 3 million pairs of shoes to the homeless and needy since its inception in 2003.

As part of the “Kick Off Your Shoes” cocktail party and dinner, athletes and celebrities have donated signed shoes for the “Barefoot Auction.” NFL players have been signing their game-worn cleats throughout the 2012 NFL season to be auctioned at the event.

Proceeds from the event will benefit shoe distributions that will take place in NFL markets throughout the 2013 season.

Smith, who is the current NFL Ambassador to Samaritan’s Feet, along with fellow players, take part in shoe distributions before each Carolina Panthers away game in the hosting NFL city. Smith and his teammates visit shelters, missions, schools, churches and synagogues where they wash the feet of those in need and help them walk out the door, often their only means of transportation, in new shoes.

Each shoe distribution that Smith hosts costs close to $10,000, (roughly $20 per person) and includes more than 500 pairs of new socks and shoes, shipping to the site, soap and towels to wash the feet of those in need.

Smith hopes that his efforts will allow for upward of 500,000 pairs of shoes during the next three years.

Ticket information is available at www.showclix.com/event/3738939. For sponsorship information, contact Jen Beaver at jen@brandedmgmt.com or Carie Goldberg at carie@goldstandardsports.com.

AT&T expands mobile broadband

AT&T has expanded its mobile broadband coverage in the New Orleans tourism corridor by completing the installation of new Distributed Antenna Systems to serve customers, revelers and sports fans in and around the Central Business District, Convention Center and the French Quarter, the company said.

DAS systems also were installed at seven major hotels along Canal and Poydras streets. In the French Quarter, additional capacity was added throughout the district. To boost capacity for the both the game and parades, 11 temporary cell sites are being installed at busy spots in the Quarter, CBD, Garden District and Uptown.

A DAS installation consists of several strategically placed antennas that distribute AT&T’s wireless network coverage throughout a facility, according to the company. That provides for more efficient management of wireless capacity in heavily trafficked areas. DAS has the ability to provide enhanced wireless coverage to customers in indoor or outdoor spaces where geographical limitations or crowd density might otherwise prevent an optimal wireless experience.

The additional capacity is expected to help improve call reliability and enable more consistent network access to help customers make the most of their AT&T devices, according to an AT&T press release.

Workshop slated
on trademarks

Gulf Coast Patent Association will present a trademark workshop from 1:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Plimsoll Club at the Westin Hotel, 100 Rue Iberville.

Speakers will address trademark law, social media at trademark concerns at the workshop, sponsored by the Keaty Patent Firm.

Registration is available online at www.gulfcoastpatentassociation.com.

Coastal communities to get planning

The Center of Planning Excellence will work with local, state and national entities to identify what Louisiana’s coastal towns and settlements need to adapt to living in a risky coastal environment.

The Greater New Orleans Foundation has provided a $200,000 grant to support the project for two years. The Ford Foundation is also a partner in the effort.

The project will help educate residents on the perils they face, what their options are and what tools they will need in order to adapt.

The Coastal Master Plan, recently updated by the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, identified a need for more human-centered approaches to helping communities cope with land loss, especially in sections of Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes.

Options may include innovative approaches to how residences and commercial buildings are built; how stormwater flows from parking lots, roads and roofs and how certain native plants can aid in protection and preservation.

The project is 100 percent funded by private philanthropy. However, as strategies are selected and implemented by each community, federal dollars may become available for specific projects.

Donation to help families of deputies

Members of the Octavio Gonzales Memorial Foundation were to present a $30,000 donation Saturday to the families of two St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s deputies who were killed in the line of duty in August.

The widows of Brandon Nielsen and Jeremy Triche, along with St. John Sheriff Mike Tregre, were to receive the donations at a ceremony at 11 a.m. at Muss Bertolino Park in Kenner.

Commander Octavio Gonzalez of the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office was shot to death during a 2006 manhunt. A memorial foundation was formed in his name, and an annual baseball tournament helps raise funds for the foundation to donate. This year, the foundation chose donating to the Nielsen and Triche families.

Nielsen and Triche were killed in an ambush in LaPlace last summer. Nielsen was married with five children and Triche was married with a 2-year-old son.

Program seeks to end child sex abuse

The New Orleans Children’s Advocacy Center at the Children’s Hospital’s Calhoun Campus will present a free program, Prevent Now, aimed at ending child sex abuse at 9 a.m. Friday.

Attendees will learn about the negative community and economic impacts of child sex abuse and policies to halt it.

For information or to register, contact Lorrie Brennan, program coordinator at the New Orleans Child Advocacy Center, at nocaccor@chnola.org or (504) 894-5484.

Compiled by the
New Orleans bureau