New Orleans area briefs for July 7, 2013

Program to help elderly with yard care

The Good Samaritan Ministry will work in conjunction with the Northshore High School Football Team to provide lawn services for people who are 60 or older or are physically disabled.

The program will provide one-time basic lawn service to applicants in the Slidell/Pearl River area. Work will be limited to mowing, trimming, weeding, edging and pressure washing. No tree services or irrigation services will be provided.

Athletes in Service will provide all equipment required for the lawn service.

Potential applicants should contact the Good Samaritan Ministry and request an appointment. At that time, a counselor will assess the needs, verify income restraints and/or disabilities. If approved, a request for service form will be filled out and the waiver of liability signed by the client.

The Athletes in Service coordinator, Tim Barkley, will be faxed the request for service form, outlining demographic information, services requested and completion of services/hours volunteered. The client must sign this form, acknowledging and accepting the disclaimer of liabilities and then a call will be made to schedule services.

For more information, call 641-6421.

Federal Reserve Bank to open museum

The Museum of Trade, Finance and the Fed will open to the public July 15 at the Federal Reserve Bank of New Orleans, 525 St. Charles Ave.

The museum’s interactive exhibits, artifacts and stories explain the Federal Reserve’s purposes and functions and the role of finance and trade and New Orleans’ history as a center for trade and finance.

Visitors can use their own picture and images from historic bank notes to create a note, which they can send to an email address. They also can take a bag of shredded currency and a brochure that outlines a self-guided walking tour highlighting points of interest in New Orleans’ financial history.

The museum’s hours will be Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for parties of one to 10. Larger groups must register for a guided tour by calling 877-638-7003.

Operation is subject to change based on security considerations and the national threat level issued by the Homeland Security Advisory System.

Art to be on display at Safe Harbor event

Several area artists and published authors will help raise money for Safe Harbor, which provides shelter and support for domestic violence victims in St. Tammany Parish, as part of the second White Summer Night garden party benefit July 27 at the Pontchartrain Yacht Club in Mandeville.

The event will feature food by several area restaurants and provide pool-side dancing illuminated by white lanterns with music by the Rick Sampson Band, which is being sponsored by the yacht club.

Sylvia Schmidt, owner of Sylvia Schmidt Fine Art in Mandeville, and head of a volunteer organizing committee, said those attending are encouraged to wear white in keeping with the theme.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased in advance at the yacht club at Jackson Avenue and Lakeshore Drive on the Mandeville lakefront and at Pineapple Gallery, 829 Asbury Drive in Mandeville. They can also be purchased at the door.

Organizing committee member Cathy Deano said the signature painting for this year’s theme is an acrylic on canvas painting by Robert Warrens called “Pink Light,” depicting egrets reflected pink in a setting sunset motif.

Other artists displaying and selling original work include Sandra Blair, Mary Monk, Philip Sage, Barbie Adler, John Goodwyne, Barbara Prosser, Valerie Carpenter, Louis Morales, Sylvia Schmidt along with jewelry designs of Betsy Green and nature photography of Hew Hamilton, Patsy Davenport and Robert Baumgartner.

Authors committed so far are Randy Fertel, author of “The Gorilla Man and The Empress of Steak;” Pamela Ewen, who wrote “The Moon In The Mango Tree” and other works; and Bernard Smith, who wrote “Random Allotment.”

Throughout the evening their will be drawings for door prizes that have been donated by many businesses, including restaurant gift cards, in the Mandeville and Covington area.

Safe Harbor provides undisclosed lodging and support services ranging from crisis intervention and legal advocacy to play groups and counseling for children. Professional staff is on hand 24 hours a day and Safe Harbor is a member of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence

25 parents complete leadership class

Orleans Public Education Network recognized the inaugural graduating class of the Parent Leadership Training Institute of New Orleans, the local chapter of a national initiative created to improve the health, safety and learning of children by training parents in the leadership skills needed to change their schools, communities and governments.

At the ceremony, New Orleans City Council District B Councilmember LaToya Cantrell commended the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Greater New Orleans Foundation for funding the organization and recognized each of the 25 graduates for their commitment to enhancing the parenting community in New Orleans.

“The role of a parental figure in a child’s life truly cannot be overstated,” Cantrell said. “It’s an amazing opportunity to see the parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles who dedicated their precious time to become more knowledgeable about civic participation for the betterment of the children of New Orleans.’’

Graduates have completed a 20-week series of sessions on leadership skills, media literacy and civic participation.

Applications are being accepted for the fall class, which will consist of 25 participants who are screened and selected based on their availability and readiness to become effective change agents on behalf of youth.

The program will begin with a retreat in October and will run through February. More information about applying is available at

Plaquemines center to hold open house

The Plaquemines Parish Emergency Operation Center will hold an open house beginning at 6:30 p.m. July 16, July 17 and July 18 at the Popich Building, 8056 La. 23, Suite 308 in Belle Chasse.

The sessions will allow people to look behind the scenes and learn about the evacuation process and tools used during emergency situations.

Seating is limited and can be reserved by calling (504) 297-2477.

Events in St. John honor veterans

St. John the Baptist Parish honored veterans of the armed forces Wednesday at the 8th annual Veterans Luncheon and the 13th annual Independence Day Celebration Along the River.

Parish President Natalie Robottom, Parish Council members and other local and state officials joined more than 400 veterans and their spouses at a luncheon in the Louisiana Army National Guard Readiness Center in Reserve.

The annual event paid homage to deceased veterans and service members with a video tribute shown during the lunch. The video was also shown during the broadcast of the Independence Day Celebration Along the River. Artwork created by summer campers saluting veterans were used as place mats and given as keepsakes for those in attendance.

Lt. Colonel Jonathan Ballard, Commander of the 61st Troop Command and the Louisiana CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Package was the keynote speaker. Ballard was the lead commander of the Louisiana National Guard in St. John the Baptist Parish during Hurricane Isaac performing rescue, security and engineering missions.

Later in the evening, a crowd of more than 1,000 gathered on the grounds of St. Peter’s Church and the Edgard Courthouse to commemorate the holiday. The event was filmed on the East and West banks of the parish and broadcast on the government access channel.

“The Independence Day Celebrations are about more than good food and music,” District 1 Councilman Art Smith said. “They celebrate the camaraderie between residents and honor those who have fought and continue to fight to keep us free.”

Compiled by
the New Orleans bureau