New Orleans area briefs for March 31, 2013

Ramp open on
Huey P. Long Bridge

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development opened a new overpass ramp last week on the west bank of the Huey P. Long Bridge as part of the $1.2 billion widening project.

East bank-bound drivers can use the ramp to “fly over” Bridge City Avenue directly onto the bridge, the DOTD said in a news release. The entire bridge widening is set for completion June 16.

Motorists no longer have to go through the traffic signals at Bridge City Avenue in order to get on the bridge from U.S. 90. This change is expected to improve traffic flow and limit backups during peak travel times, according to the agency.

The final new overpass on the east bank for west bank-bound traffic is expected to open in early April. That will leave the new lanes on the main span of the bridge as the primary work left to finish, the DOTD said.

Program explores paid TV alternatives

Greg Wilde and Ray Paternostro will give a presentation titled “Alternatives to Pay TV” at 7 p.m. April 10 at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon.

The presentation is free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not required.

The speakers will talk about alternatives to cable programming, including those free of charge. Wilde and Paternostro will discuss Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Crackle, Vudu, Clicker Blinkx, Joost, Yidio, Babelgum and many others. They will talk about the capability of new televisions as well as TiVo and Dish, and ways to use library cards as part of a television strategy.

Jazz Fest movies
to be screened

The Louisiana State Museum’s collection of seven different 16mm film reels from the first Jazz Fest will be shown at the Old U.S. Mint Third Floor Performance Space at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. April 25.

Charles Chamberlain will moderate the event, and the Band-in-a-Pocket Jazz Trio will be performing in sections that do not have sound.

Don Perry, one of the founders of the New Orleans Jazz Club and a former WDSU cameraman, filmed the first festival in 1970 and donated the reels in 1978 to the Louisiana State Museum.

The LSM digitized the films in 2012, allowing them to be preserved for generations of Jazz Fest and music fans. The seven separate films show artists such as Duke Ellington, Pete Fountain, Danny Barker and Mahalia Jackson.

Tickets are a donation to the Friends of the Cabildo/New Orleans Film Society at a cost of $10 and $7.50 for Friends of the Cabildo/Louisiana Museum Foundation/New Orleans Film Society Members.

Reservations are limited and can be made by contacting Kaydee Nenninger at the Friends of the Cabildo office, (504) 523-3939. Iinformation is available at www.friendsofthecabildo.org and www.neworleansfilmsociety.org

St. Tammany council slates meetings

St. Tammany Parish District 9 Councilman Gene Bellisario and District 11 Councilman Steve Stefancik will hold their monthly meetings for constituents this week.

Bellisario’s meeting will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the cafeteria of Boyet Jr. High School on Rebel Drive.

The primary discussion topics for the meeting will include the status of a new fire station on Steele Road, potential changes to flood insurance rates, the coroner’s office, a revenue-sharing agreement with the town of Pearl River and the possibility of forming a Community Legislative Watch Group.

Stefancik’s meeting will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the library of Bayou Woods Elementary School off Carroll Road near Slidell.

Topics discussed will include bid-letting for a connector road between Airport Road and U.S. 11, addendums to some 2012 capital road and drainage projects, an upgrade of the 2013 capital road and drainage projects and a resolution to support the moving of the Northshore Technical Community College from the Slidell campus to the St. Tammany Parish learning center along La. 434 in Lacombe.

Library offers programs on Japan

A free children’s program on Japan will be offered by jetaaNOLA, the area chapter of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program Alumni Association, at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave.

The program will include a photo presentation on Japan, the reading of kamishibai stories, using colorful picture cards and making origami hats.

The program ends with interactive informal playtime, where the children can try traditional Japanese toys and dress up in yukata (cotton kimono) and happi (festival wear).

Einstein Charter holds open house

Einstein Charter Elementary School Extension will hold an open house for current, new and prospective students for the coming school year from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday at the school’s main campus, 5100 Cannes St.

The open house includes a tour and information about the curricula, programs, activities and the school’s mission.

Einstein Charter School was awarded a $1 million grant to turn around Intercultural Charter School, where Einstein Extension will be located. The extension campus, 5316 Michoud Blvd., will welcome up to 500 students.

CEO Shawn Toranto said all students who currently attend Intercultural are guaranteed a seat in the new school but must complete an application. Einstein Extension is a K-8 open admission charter school operated by the Orleans Parish School Board.

For information, contact Toranto at (504) 324-7453 or administrative assistant Ann DiVincenti at (504) 324-7457.

Compiled by the
New Orleans bureau