New Orleans area briefs for Jan. 2, 2013

N.O. draws praise for New Year’s

New Orleans has been singled out for its New Year’s Eve celebrations by Huffington Post and Travel + Leisure Magazine and was also named a top holiday destination for foodies by Away.com, a division of Orbitz.com, according to the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Huffington Post pointed to the city’s Fleur de Lis drop and the 15-minute fireworks displays over the Mississippi River in placing New Orleans on the list of The 20 Best New Year’s Eve Celebrations in the World.

New Orleans was recognized by Yahoo!, which released its annual tally of top destination searches last month. Website users gave New Orleans a top 10 spot on the list for 2012 alongside London, Hong Kong and Dubai.

New Orleans garnered 22 awards in 2012 from leisure travel websites, publications and search engines. This tops off a year of unprecedented international acclaim from travelers, where 22 awards were presented to New Orleans, including a World Tourism Award and a Top Ten City Award from Conde Nast Traveler.

New Orleans was also named the best city for shopping by Travel + Leisure magazine and one of the most affordable cities in the U.S. by TripAdvisor.

Panel to discuss health care law

A panel of experts representing health care providers, the private insurance industry, insurance brokers, government agencies, nonprofits and more will explore the ramifications of the Patient Affordable Care Act on businesses and employees from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Abita Springs Town Hall, 22101 Level St.

The free panel discussion is sponsored by the St. Tammany Democratic Parish Executive Committee and the Louisiana Center for Health Equity.

Panel members will address all aspects of health care overhaul legislation enacted during President Barack Obama’s first term, according to Keith Villere, chairman of the parish committee.

Business leaders in the area and individuals are invited to submit questions about the health care legislation in advance of the panel discussion, Villere said.

They can send questions via email to sttammanydemocrat@gmail.com or by call (985) 893-0408 and posting the question in a form of a voice mail phone message.

Center will hold fundraiser for N.O.

The Preservation Resource Center will present “Voulez-Vous,” a fundraising event to raise money for the restoration of New Orleans homes and neighborhoods, on Jan. 17 at The Box, 189 Chrystie Street, New York, N.Y.

The evening features Irma Thomas, with pianist David Torkanowsky, the Derek Douget Band and Malcolm Ford. The PRC will present The Citizenship Award to New Yorker Allan V. Rose for the restoration of The Roosevelt New Orleans.

The 2013 celebration will also benefit Rebuilding Together NYC and The New York Landmarks Conservancy, two organizations that are helping to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy.

Tickets, which begin at $500, can be purchased by calling (504) 581-7032 or by visiting prcno.org.

Compiled from Advocate news services