Slice of St. Tammany: School buses ready to roll in St. Tammany Parish

By Karen Baker

Special to The Advocate

It’s that time of year again, when yellow school buses start rumbling through the neighborhoods, picking up students eager to get back to work. St. Tammany public schools start Friday, while many private schools start classes this week.

If you have a child in public school and have questions about bus routes, the school system has set up a Transportation Hot Line. The hot line will be in operation through Friday and then on Aug. 12 and Aug. 13. The hours are 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., and the number is (985) 898-3373. Parents are invited to call for information on their children’s bus driver, who can give them information on bus stop locations as well as pickup and drop-off times.

For more information on public schools, visit www.stpsb.org.

Fighting litter, one butt at a time

Some people apparently don’t consider cigarette butts litter. But tossing your cigarette butt out of the window is just as bad as throwing your fast-food wrapper on the curb. To fight the problem, Keep Mandeville Beautiful has launched an effort to reduce the amount of cigarette butt litter in the community. The effort includes the distribution of pocket ashtrays to smokers, installing ash receptacles in public areas around Mandeville and displaying anti-cigarette butt litter signs along roadways that are plagued with the problem. The effort is funded by a grant from Keep America Beautiful.

KMB has partnered with both Mandeville locations of the Town Crier, Discount Zone and B’s Tobacco Plus stores to distribute free pocket ashtrays to customers when they purchase cigarettes. The pocket ashtray is small and portable and can be carried in a purse or pocket.

In addition, KMB has identified roadways with heavy cigarette butt litter. Street signs displaying the message “Please don’t litter it” will be erected to remind motorists that cigarette butts are litter too. The signs will include information on how much you might have to pay for a discarded butt. Infractions could carry a $500 fine. Additional ash receptacles will be installed throughout Mandeville in public areas in an effort to reduce cigarette butt litter.

According to their news release, Keep Mandeville Beautiful says that cigarette butt litter is the No. 1 litter problem not only in Mandeville but all over the world. After citywide cleanups, cigarette butt litter is consistently the main complaint by volunteers.

Here are a few cigarette butt fast facts, courtesy of KMB:

For more information, contact kmb@cityofmandeville.com.

Cultural Season Guide

The St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs is producing a Fall/Winter Cultural Season Guide. The biannual publication includes the events calendars of theater seasons, gallery openings, directory information, fairs, festivals and more. The new Cultural Season Guide will cover events from Oct. 1 through March 31.

Nonprofit arts organizations and presenters may participate at no charge. For-profit arts businesses may participate for a fee of $20.

For information on getting your group’s information in the guide, call (985) 898-3011 or visit www.stpgov.org. Submissions are due Aug. 15.

‘Works of Whimsy’ at OFFstage Gallery

The Olde Towne Arts Center will present an invitational art exhibition titled “Works of Whimsy” Saturday through Sept. 8 at the OFFstage Gallery at Slidell Little Theater, 2024 Nellie Drive in Slidell. It will feature the works of Jose Maria Cundin, Patricia Hart, Susan King, Ginger Pine and Bibbet Robinson.

“Works of Whimsy is fine art from a fun perspective,” curator Andy Leonard said. “We want to display art that will make you smile, and the quality of the art will be excellent.”

The exhibition will open with a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday in the theater lobby. It will remain on exhibit in conjunction with Slidell Little Theatre’s first play of the 2013-14 season, “Seussical.” Slidell Little Theatre’s “Seussical” opens Aug. 16 and runs through Sept. 8. For reservations and information, visit slidelllittletheatre.org or call the box office at (985) 641-0323.

Memoir writing at the library

The St. Tammany Parish Library is ready to turn you into a memoir writer. Cathie McFarland will help participants hone their writing skills, exercise creativity, achieve greater self-knowledge, interact with others in the writing process and share their stories.

Memoir Writing classes will be held on the second Wednesday of each month beginning Aug. 14 and running until Dec. 11, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Causeway Branch, 3457 U.S. 190, Mandeville.

The event is free and open to the public, but limited to adults. Light refreshments will be available. Registration is recommended. Stop by the Causeway branch or call (985) 626-9779 to register. Register online at register.stpl.us/evanced/lib/eventcalendar.asp.

Rotary Big Game Raffle Prizes 2013

The Rotary Club will hold its annual Big Game Raffle. The drawing will be at 12:30 p.m. Aug. 22 at Metairie Country Club. Prizes include a variety of Saints home games plus stays at area hotels as well as a variety of LSU home games.

For more information, call Steve Saux of the Northlake-Mandeville Rotary at (504) 296-7801 or email him at ssaux@bellsouth.net.