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Books can make versatile and meaningful home-design elements

Associated Press photo by Beth J. Harpaz -- A solid wall of 4,000 paperback romance novels spelling out the word forever in an art installation at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark. The work by John Salvest was part of a major contemporary art show at the museum in late 2013. Salvest said there was an 'underlying sadness' to collecting the discarded books from thrift shops in an era when fewer people read physical books.

— Some people love the look of a bookshelf stuffed with books, and what that represents. Others see books as clutter, and wonder why anyone owns them in the digital era. But the “well-chosen book,” or an artfully displayed stack of books, “can be as powerful as any other design element,” said… Continue reading →

Garden News: Ball-like moss plant cropping up in Louisiana, generally not a threat to trees

Photo by RAJ SINGH -- Ball moss is being seen more and more in local landscapes. Fortunately, it is not usually a danger to trees.

Louisianians are probably familiar with Spanish moss, but they may not be aware of ball moss. Like Spanish moss, ball moss is an epiphyte and belongs to family Bromeliaceae, says LSU AgCenter plant pathologist Raj Singh. It’s an air plant that’s not a true moss but rather a small flowering plant, Singh said. It is neither… Continue reading →

Community column for Feb. 27, 2015

Photo provided by MANDY LEGRANGE -- Plaquemine Garden Club -- Sarah Rogers Shields, an expert on planting spring perennials and herbs, spoke to the Plaquemine Garden Club Feb. 10 at the Iberville Parish Library. Ann Joffrion created a Valentine's Day arrangement. Cynthia Gum and Marvo LeJeune were hostesses. Shown are, from left, President Nancy Delahaye, Shields and First Vice President Katherine Desselles.

Wilson Foundation holds reentry event The Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation hosted a prisoner reentry and reintegration roundtable event Feb. 13 at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library. The event focused on challenges people face when leaving jail or prison and reintegrating into the community. It is estimated that… Continue reading →

A joyous Jewish occasion of feasting, Purim also remembers intolerance

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Families often give platters of sweets and fruit to friends or people in need during the Jewish holiday of Purim. A typical platter contains, clockwise from top, Pecan Squares, Travados (Jerusalem Cinnamon Nut Cookies), Outrageous Brownies and Hamantaschen, the traditioinal Purim cookie.

Beginning at sundown on March 4, Jews around the world will celebrate Purim, a holiday often compared with Mardi Gras for its feasting, drinking and masquerading. The roots of Purim, as related in the Biblical Book of Esther, go back to ancient Persia, where the Jews were prosperous and prominent. King Ahasuerus, believed by scholars to… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Everyday meals for the family

Lorraine Wallace believes it’s important that families sit down together for supper. But as a home cook she knows getting supper on the table is easier said than done, the wife of “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace writes in her third cookbook, “Mr. & Mrs. Sunday’s Suppers.” While an empty-nester now, she says she spent years… Continue reading →

Literary world in a frenzy over themes of sequel to Harper Lee classic

Associated Press file photo -- Harper Lee

When Harper Lee’s previously unknown book is published this summer, many readers will look to see what it says about an adult Scout Finch. One LSU professor is more interested in how it reflects on a coming-of-age civil rights movement. Like every fan of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Michael Bibler, professor of Southern studies in LSU’s… Continue reading →

Pam’s Party Line for Feb. 25, 2015

Photo provided by NEIL ANN PARKS --- French Friends --- At the Friends of French Studies at LSU annual dinner meeting are, from left, Jacqueline Labat, CODOFIL President William Arceneaux, Allison Roark and CODOFIL Executive Director Charles Larroque.

N eil Ann Parks was elected president of the Friends of French Studies at LSU at its 18th annual dinner meeting Feb. 5 at the Baton Rouge Country Club. Special guests were Stacia Haynie, dean of the College of Humanities & Social Studies, and Jill Roshto, former director of… Continue reading →

Common Ground: Little pitchers always have their ears on

I found out the hard way that not everything you say in your home is going to stay within its walls, particularly if you have Wi-Fi and internet. As the old saying goes, “watch what you say around your children.” Sometime during the Mardi Gras break, I tripped on the shower curtain and the… Continue reading →

James Achee, Alex Bates rule Livonia Carnival Association’s parade

Photo by TOMMY COMEAUX -- King James Achee and Queen Alex Bates reign over the Livonia Carnival.

James Achee and Alex Bates reigned as king and queen of the Livonia Carnival Association’s Mardi Gras parade which rolled on Feb. 15. Achee is a lifelong resident of Livonia and is a 1982 graduate of Catholic High School of Pointe Coupee. He is married to the former Lori Beth Bizette,… Continue reading →

Patricia Gannon: All Hail the King

Josh and Lindsey Billeaud, Becky Voorhies, Sport Voorhies

His Majesty King Gabriel LXXVI Pothier Jean Voorhies III held his royal luncheon at the Cajundome Convention Center amid family and loyal subjects. The Second Line played outside to welcome one and all, while inside security was heavier than the White House as dukes and maids posed for portraits upstairs. Among those awaiting their boutonnieres and… Continue reading →

New Orleans man proud of his 1950s music, memorabilia collection

Advocate photo by J.T. BLATTY-- in New Orleans, La. Friday, Feb. 20, 2015. Gabriel Puccio holding a signed 45 of Fats Domino's first album, The Fatman.

When Gabriel Puccio walks through his front door at 4 p.m. every day, the ritual is always the same. “Hello, Elvis! Hello, Fats! Hello, Ernie!” That’s Elvis Presley, Fats Domino and Ernie K-Doe to most of us. Does Puccio live in the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame?… Continue reading →

Port Hudson museum gets model of Civil War-era gunboat

Photo provided by Office of State Parks -- A scale model of the Union gunboat USS Essex is being added to the Port Hudson State Historic Site museum. It's inaugural sail will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, during a program at the historic site, which is on U.S. 61 near Zachary.

Port Hudson State Historic Site is adding a 1:32 scale model of the Union gunboat USS Essex that served during the Civil War to its exhibits collection. The model was created and donated by Robert Seal, of American Battlesite Productions, and Baton Rouge-area artist Bill Toups and is on display in the… Continue reading →

Community News, Feb. 24, 2015

Photo provided by JOYCE PLUMMER -- Ascension Parish Voters League -- Sarah Holliday-James, state director for Urban Game Changers, was guest speaker when the Ascension Parish Voters League met Feb. 16 at St. Paul Baptist Church Annex in Gonzales. Shown are, seated from left, Holliday-James, Chairman Roy Quezaire, Clint Cointment, William King, and Harold Stewart; and, standing, Mark Peters, Derrick Coco, Vice Chairman Timothy R. Riley, Jerri Williams, Neka Fowler, Ron Alcorn and Cynthia Buggage.

Caleb Manning and Connor Matthews, students at the Runnels School, have been named finalists in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program, the school has announced. As National Merit finalists, they remain in competition for about 7,600 National Merit scholarships valued at… Continue reading →

Ignatius comes home with ‘One Book’ read

Photo provided by LSU Press -- The One Book, One Community Kick-Off Event starts at 6 p.m. Saturday at  North Boulevard Town Square.This year's selection is 'A Confederacy of Dunces' by John Kennedy Toole.

Grab your cheese dip. The East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s One Book, One Community project’s selection is John Kennedy Toole’s “A Confederacy of Dunces,” a love letter to New Orleans that contains a famously sharp line about Baton Rouge. One Book, One Community kicks off Saturday with a New Orleans-style street party in Town Square,… Continue reading →

Eric Holowacz out as CEO of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge

Eric Holowacz

Eric Holowacz is no longer president and CEO of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge. Brian Haymon, chairman of the arts council’s board of directors, said Holowacz resigned. However, Moffitt Aycock, former interim director of the Community Fund for the Arts Campaign, said Haymon announced Friday that Holowacz had been fired. “Brian… Continue reading →

Testing young hearts: Student-athlete deaths have doctors urging cardiac evaluations

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- Harris McKey, a Dunham High School sophomore who plays on the basketball and football teams, gets an ultrasound Wednesday at the Our Lady of the Lake Medical Plaza.

Chad Falgout’s heart pounds when he sprints down the basketball court, but the 14-year-old doesn’t pay much attention to his most important muscle. Even when he hears stories about student-athletes collapsing on the court or dying in a locker room, he never considers his heart. “You should, but I haven’t really thought about it,” said… Continue reading →

Pam’s Party Line for Feb. 22, 2015

Advocate staff photo by PAM BORDELON --- Great Performers --- At the VIP gala prior to the Baton Rouge Symphony's Irene W. & C.B. Pennington Foundation Great Performers in Concert featuring Johnny Mathis are, from left, Debbie and Julio Dumas, Alice Kronenberger, Becky and Jack Harris, Paula and Jack de la Bretonne, Rena and Todd Ledet, Leslie and Scott Berg and Diane and Johnny Tate.

This Valentine’s is one I’ll never forget. It started out in Spanish Town and ended up with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra’s Irene & C.B. Pennington Great Performers in Concert. BRSO Executive Director Cary Byrd promised a magical evening and everyone involved delivered. Great Performers More than a few of us got “Misty” listening… Continue reading →

Danny Heitman’s At Random: Lesson from a master of trees

Franklin Williams, the arborist who took care of my trees, died recently, and I’ve been missing him as spring approaches. Franklin was good at cutting down trees but disliked removing healthy ones. He was fond of a Latin expression, “arbor vitae,” which means “tree of life.” It was a reminder to him that each tree has its own… Continue reading →

Patricia Gannon: We’re all one in the etiquette sun

Charlie and Maggie Justus, Mark Broussard

Sadly, etiquette hasn’t caught up with same sex couples. It has its hands full at the moment with straight people and social media. Society is desperately trying to hold the etiquette line, period, and you are in for an awful disappointment if you believe otherwise. So what to do? Couples will need to graciously lead the way and set… Continue reading →

Magnolia Mound presents annual black history event

Photo provided by Magnolia Mound -- Oneal Isaac will give a dramatic presentation of 'In Their Own Voices: American Slaves Tell Their Story' at Saturday's Black History Month program at Magnolia Mound Plantation.

A dramatic presentation of what life was like for slaves in Louisiana and a performance by OperaCreole of music by African American composers are part of the 10th annual celebration of Black History Month on Saturday, Feb. 28, at Magnolia Mound Plantation. The program, presented by The Friends of Magnolia Mound Plantation in association with BREC, is… Continue reading →

Society meets scandal: UpStage Theatre invites all to ‘Nacirema Society’

Photo provided by Maddgame Entertainment -- Crystal Jefferson plays Marie Dunbar, Mercedes Wilson plays Janet Logan and Myesha McGarner plays Catherine Green in UpStage Theatre's production of Pearl Cleage's 'The Nacirema Society.'

Even Grace Dubose Dunbar’s name matches the role of doyenne. It’s elegant yet regal. Most of all, it’s flush with status, because Grace’s name is part of a legacy founded in 100 years of the Nacirema Society. Her grandmother founded the organization in Montgomery, Alabama, alongside Catherine Green’s grandmother. Now it’s their responsibility… Continue reading →

LSU Library showcase set on La. black history

In recognition of Black History Month, the LSU Libraries’ Special Collections’ next “Afternoon in the Archives” will feature a sampling of publications, documents and photographs that span more than 200 years of African-American history. The event, which will be from 3:30 p.m to 5 p.m. Tuesday in Hill Memorial Library, is free. On display will be… Continue reading →

Human Condition: Love of reading passes to the next generation

As soon as my granddaughter was able to sit up, she would babble happily away “reading” her books aloud, her small fingers turning the pages. I was reassured that the love of reading, a treasure given to me by my parents, was passing to a new generation. The smell of old… Continue reading →

Arts calendar for Feb. 22, 2015

Here’s what’s happening this week in the area arts and cultural scene: Baton Rouge Community College, 201 Community College Drive, has scheduled several events in celebration of Black History Month: “An Evening with Dr. Calvin Mackie,” 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb 24, Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion; a jazz workshop with Stephanie Jordan and Eric Baskin, 1… Continue reading →

Festival of Words to host evening of oral history, poetry

Clemonce Heard

The Festival of Words Cultural Arts Collective is holding an evening of oral history and poetry at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The event will feature poet Clemonce Heard, of New Orleans, and siblings Allen Charles, Earline Duplechaine and Rose Marie Perry, who will share personal stories. The event takes place at the… Continue reading →

About Town for Feb. 22, 2015

WHAT: The Baton Rouge Area Military Officers Association of America’s monthly luncheon WHERE: Drusilla Restaurant, 3482 Drusilla Lane, Baton Rouge INFORMATION: (225) 766-4900 DETAILS: Guest speaker will be Maurice Roan, director of the Louisiana National Cemetery Complex.… Continue reading →

Teen poetry slam fest explores access to info

Forward Arts Inc., a Baton Rouge nonprofit, will host its ninth annual All City Teen Poetry Slam Festival from April 29 to May 2 and May 8-9. A slam is an Olympic-style poetry competition where poets are judged on the written and performance merit of their original compositions. The All City festival boasts teams… Continue reading →

Book Review: Rocking with The Ramones

'Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life As A Ramone' by Marky Ramone

“Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone” by Marky Ramone with Rich Herschlag. Touchstone, 2015. $28. The Ramones are one of my favorite bands of all time, but I knew very little about Marky Ramone before reading this book. Marky Ramone might be the least well-known… Continue reading →

Book Events Calendar for Feb. 22, 2015

Best events LISTEN: The Words of Women: 2 p.m., The Red Shoes, 2303 Government St. A celebration of local female writers as they read from their recent work. Renée Bacher, Claire Boudreaux Bateman, Dorothy Early Davis, Laurie Lynn Drummond, Ava Leavell Haymon, Jacqueline Dee… Continue reading →

SW La. Mardi Gras Association holds Grand Ball

Photo by Jay Faugot Photography -- King Gabriel LXXVI P.J. Voorhies III and Queen Evangeline LXXVI Ann-Riley Lane

Gabriel LXXVI P.J. Voorhies and Evangeline LXXVI Ann-Riley Lane, daughter of Clif and Marianne Louise Excuriex Lane, reigned over the Grand Ball of the Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association Mardi Gras evening. The Heymann Performing Arts and Convention Center stage, depicting a palace ballroom, provided the backdrop as members of the Royal… Continue reading →

‘Bonaparte Works the Arts’ at ‘Le Bal Du Couronnement’

Photos by JAY FAUGOT -- Krewe of Bonaparte LEmpereur  Napoleon XXXIX Robert Edwin Torian, Marquise de Lafayette 'The Artist' Kimberly Michelle Landry and LImperatrice Josephine XXXIX Denise Vidrine Torian

The Krewe of Bonaparte held its 43rd annual “Le Bal Du Couronnement” Feb. 16 in the Lafayette Cajundome Convention Center. The theme for this year’s celebration was “Bonaparte Works the Arts.” L’Empereur Napoleon XXXIX Robert Edwin Torian and L’Imperatrice Josephine XXXIX Denise Vidrine Torian ruled over the festivities. The American flag… Continue reading →

Couple rules over Krewe of Maringouin’s ball, parade

Photos by RG James Photography -- Members of the Krewe of Maringouin Mardi Gras, established in 1987 are, seated from left, President Emeritus Albert Anderson Jr., Annie B. Vaughan, Co-ball Captain Charles F. Dotson, Sergeant-at-arms Florida Oliver and Guy Thomas; and, standing from left, Georgia Scott, Henry Harris Jr., President Verbie Dotson-Parker, Vice President Allison Hicks, Freddie Davis, Cassandra Thompson, Michael Thompson, Co-ball Captain Anita Dotson, Michael Oliver, Sylvia Noel-Sterling, Janie Gilbert, Althea Littles, Felicia Thomas, James Louis, Lizzie Johnese and Shirley Tillman.

King James Gerard Lewis and Queen Afton Joylyn Bessix reigned over the Krewe of Maringouin’s Mardi Gras Ball on Feb. 7 at the Erwinville Community Center. The couple also ruled over the parade on Feb. 14 in Maringouin. Lewis is a native of New Roads and a resident of Bueche. He is… Continue reading →

Myer, Dixon reign over festivities in Community Carnival Parade

Photo provided by Tommy Comeaux -- New Roads Mayor Robert Myer and Kayla Alacia Dixon are the king and queen of the 2015 Community Center Carnival Parade in New Roads.

New Roads Mayor Robert Myer served as king and Kayla Alacia Dixon as queen of this year’s Community Center Carnival Parade in New Roads, which is said to be the state’s oldest Mardi Gras parade outside of New Orleans. It’s the first time a sitting New Roads mayor has served as the… Continue reading →

LSU's Glassel Gallery to feature work by Pope artist Michael Triegel

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- German painter and illustrator Michael Triegel at his exhibit in the Glassell Gallery inside the Shaw Center for the Arts.

The story spread quickly through Europe’s religious and artistic communities: a nonbeliever was painting Pope Benedict XVI’s official portrait. Michael Triegel smiles about it now. He was baptized in the Catholic church last Easter, but it’s true his spiritual doubts ran deep when he agreed to paint the portrait. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: Speaker inspires closer life with God

The Lenten season offers Christians an opportunity to grow closer to God through prayer, fasting and other means. To help in that effort, some churches offer Lenten missions, programs to inspire parishioners during the solemn time of year. One such church that has enjoyed successful missions in the past with distinguished speakers is St. Thomas More… Continue reading →

Preschool ‘Superheroes’ craft gifts to thank others for their service

Advocate staff photo by Kyle Peveto -- Firefighter Clint Kimbel shows 3-year-old Thomas McElgin how the fire hose works during a Superheroes of Service event.

Donning their tiny green capes, the preschool-aged Superheroes of University Baptist Church had a long day ahead of them. Their mission: to thank a group of firefighters who risk life and limb to protect the lives and property of Baton Rouge. The Superheroes of Service program at University Baptist promotes the Christian value of service… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge religious bulletins for Feb. 22 - March 5

The Rev. Van Smith Jr. and his wife Leola R. Smith (PP)

RECOVERY SUPPORT ADDIS WOMEN’S GROUP: 6 p.m., Church at Addis, 6781 LA 1. A support group for women seeking mental freedom from destructive habits. (225) 776-1652 or facebook.com/recoverysupportaddis. RECOVERY SUPPORT ADDIS MEN’S GROUP: 7 p.m., Church at Addis, 6781 LA 1 South. A support… Continue reading →

Other architects wanted to level the McArthurs’ sloping lot, but they found one who’d embrace it

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Frank and Kathy McArthur relax on their balcony overlooking the Country Club of Louisiana golf course.

What Kathy McArthur really wanted was a new sofa, but husband Frank had other ideas. He wanted a new house. In 1995, they built their house overlooking the golf course in the Country Club of Louisiana. “I knew it would be a beautiful view,” said Frank McArthur, who had eyed the overgrown hilly property for… Continue reading →

Herb Society hosting tea-tasting event

Is your palate as refined as the Dowager Countess of Grantham’s? Find out at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, when the Herb Society of America-Baton Rouge Unit puts taste buds to the test. Four teas will be presented, with information given about each. Participants will taste each, then match the tea to the description.… Continue reading →

Community column for Feb. 20, 2015

Photo provided by ALLEN OWINGS -- Rose Society -- President Carolle Olinde, Randy Wright, Frances Falcon, Allen Owings and Carolyn DeRouen, from left, gather at the Baton Rouge Rose Society's Feb. 11 meeting.

River Bend donates $10,000 for library Capital Area United Way received a $10,000 donation Feb. 2 from Entergy River Bend Station to continue the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program in West Feliciana Parish. The contribution will serve 333 children, providing 4,000 books mailed in one year. This is the fourth $10,000 donation from… Continue reading →

Garden News: Whip winter weeds now with herbicides

Photo by MARK CLAESGENS  A good-looking lawn requires attention throughout the year, including winter weed control.

Dollarweed and clover are common perennial weeds in lawns during the cool season. They can be difficult to control consistently, especially dollarweed, says LSU AgCenter turf specialist Ron Strahan. “You need to know how to control them, but you also should know why these weeds are present in your lawn,” Strahan says. Both dollarweed and clover are… Continue reading →

The Year of the Goat: Hear drums and gongs? It’s the Chinese New Year

AP Photo/San Francisco Chronicle, Craig Lee  --  Dumplings, such as Shanghai Dumplings from a banquet at Yank Sing restaurant in San Francisco, are traditionally served on Chinese New Year.

Happy 4712th Chinese year! Thursday, Feb. 19, marks the start of Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival. The most festive of all Chinese holidays, the new year celebration begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice and will last for about two weeks. Thursday welcomes in the beginning of the Year… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Not quite ‘hands off,’ but still easy

Advocate photo by Cheramie Sonnier  --  Thick-Cut Pork Chops With Warm Apple-Cabbage Slaw, prepared and cooked on a sheet pan, goes together quickly.

HH “Sheet Pan Suppers: 120 Recipes for Simple, Surprising, Hands-Off Meals Straight From the Oven” by Molly Gilbert Workman Publishing, $15.95 296-page paperback When a cookbook author claims to have an easy preparation, easy cooking method that requires only one pan, I’m definitely interested. That’s what author and cooking instructor Molly… Continue reading →

4 La. singers still in ‘Idol’ race

Rachael Hallack, a singer-songwriter from Baton Rouge, is competing on 'American Idol.'

The whittling away of “American Idol” Season 14 hopefuls moves to LA’s House of Blues Sunset tonight for the first of two “Showcase Week” episodes. Among the 48 young singers still hoping to make the top 24 of the Fox reality competition series are Baton Rouge singer-songwriter Rachael Hallack; Quentin Alexander and Anjelika Joseph, both… Continue reading →

So it’s the day after Mardi Gras… help for hangovers

Need a little hair of the dog this morning? Don’t do it. It may temporarily make you feel better, but whipping up a Bloody Mary as a post-Mardi Gras hangover will only make you feel worse in the long run, says the Mayo Clinic (let’s not talk about what it might do to any… Continue reading →