For the fourth year in a row, the state of Louisiana is waiving sales tax on storm supplies if you buy them the week before hurricane season.
Louisiana Revised Statute 47:305.58 provides for an annual state sales tax holiday on sales of hurricane-preparedness items or supplies made on the last Saturday and Sunday of each May. You'll still pay any parish or municipality tax, but the four percent sales tax collected by the state will be waived.
Get more info here, and go under the cut for a list of what's eligible and what's not.
Orleans Parish children between the ages of 6 and 18 can sign up for free dance classes this summer through the NORDC/NOBA Center for Dance operated by the New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA) and the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC). The center has offered free dance classes since 1992.
The classes run from June 13 through July 22 and require advance registration. Positions in classes are granted on a first-come-first-served basis, and class times are assigned on the basis of age and proficiency level. Registrants must bring proof of address and family income.
Uniforms for the classes for girls are a black leotard, pink tights and pink ballet slippers. Boys will wear black tights, a fitted white T-shirt, dance belt and black ballet slippers. No baggy sweat pants will be allowed. Children who cannot afford the outfits should talk to their instructor; NOBA has limited numbers of mostly tights and shoes available.
Registration dates and places are below the jump :
Royal Caribbean International says its return to New Orleans in November will bring an additional 3,000 visitors to the city each week. Tourists will board the Voyager of the Seas at the Port of New Orleans for weeklong trips to the western Caribbean.
It will be the first time Royal Caribbean has sailed the Gulf of Mexico since 2007, and it will sail out of New Orleans through April 2012.
The Voyager of the Seas is considered one of the largest cruise ships around and includes a Royal Promenade entertainment boulevard, a rock-climbing wall, ice-skating rink and more.
The failure of a bill to merge the University of New Orleans (UNO) and Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) offers several lessons about the politics and psychology of legislative sessions. Chief among those lessons is that sometimes a bill’s fate has nothing to do with the merits of the bill itself. Another is the importance of timing. And luck.
After House Speaker Jim Tucker announced last week that he was pulling down his merger bill, several sources close to the effort told me that the measure actually had the 70 votes needed for passage earlier in the week. But, as often happens in the legislative process, stuff happened.
So what happened to the merger?
The short answer is: Bobby Jindal.
Old Algiers is opening its arms to new residents and offering great deals on pre-built houses through the Algiers Redevelopment Foundation’s partnership with the Salvation Army’s EnviRenew program. People interested in taking advantage of the EnviRenew program, which offers up to $75,000 in mortgage assistance to qualified buyers, can attend a Super Open House and yard party from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at a model home at 523 Diana St. Two other homes in the program can be viewed on LeBoeuf Street.
The yard party features live music by Desmian and the Soul Heirs Jazz Band, food and other activities for the whole family.
The energy-efficient homes feature a solar hot water heater and are equipped with granite countertops, wood floors and 10-foot ceilings. Twenty-five homes will be built in the Old Algiers neighborhood under the program, which ends in September.
See a couple of shots of the interior below the jump.
What could be more fun and more American than watching baseball — and raising money for the Miracle League of Greater New Orleans, which promotes organized baseball games for disabled youth.
Brother Martin High School is hosting the Miracle League All-Star Challenge, a day of baseball clinics and exhibition games starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 21, at Brother Martin High School (E.A. Farley Field, 4401 Elysian Fields Ave.).
Clinics in batting, throwing and fielding are open to all players in the Miracle League and start at 10 a.m., followed at 10:45 a.m. by a split-squad game featuring all-stars from the Miracle League’s adolescent and teen divisions and Brother Martin’s eight grade baseball team. At noon, players for the Miracle League Teen All-Star Challenge game will take the field, featuring teenagers from the Miracle League and players from Brother Martin’s high school team.
There also will be food, drinks and more. All proceeds benefit the Miracle League of Greater New Orleans.
Hurricane season is only a few days away, and though we hope we don’t see this ominous sight in the Gulf of Mexico heading toward Louisiana this year — just in case, a variety of Jefferson Parish departments and organizations are holding a “Prep” rally to help residents stay safe if a storm comes this way.
The rally is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lafreniere Park Pavilion (3000 Downs Blvd., Metairie). The event is free and open to the public.
You won’t be expected to learn cheers for inciting players of hurricane season to show their strength against your defense. But you will be given lots of information about preparing your home for a storm and your family for evacuation. Parish officials also will discuss the parish’s preparations and responses and will have an interactive model of how the parish’s drainage systems work.
There will be demonstrations about the dangers of live downed power lines, how to escape a fire, high-water and rescue vehicles, how to register for the JPAlert Community Notification System, how business owners can obtain placards to re-enter the parish after an evacuation and more.
Part of being a responsible dog owner is making sure your pooch has its immunizations. The Sula Foundation wants to help by offering discounted vaccinations during its final vaccination clinic of the summer Saturday, May 21, at Trinity Christian Community (3908 Joliet St.).
Dr. Scott Gernon of the Magazine Street Animal Clinic will give pit bulls vaccinations for $15 from 10 a.m. t 1 p.m. Other breeds will be vaccinated for $45.
To add a little fun to the event — and raise money for Sula Foundation programs — the group is challenging the public to wager on how many dogs will be show up for the event — 100 came to the last clinic — by pledging a donation of any amount per dog by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Check the website later to see how much money was raised.
2-cent Entertainment is giving away 4,000 books to children who attend the Listen! Literacy and Arts Festival Saturday, May 21 at the Community Book Center (2523 Bayou Road). But the festival is not just for youngsters. There will be lots of entertainment, including performances by Dee-1, Lil Chuckee, Kourtney Heart and Manny Fresh (with a special guest). There also will be food, drinks and local vendors.
The grassroots, multimedia organization 2-cent is dedicated to reaching New Orleans youth and helping them find a direction through the use of music, video, photography and reading. The group says it is tackling Louisiana's and New Orleans' low literacy rates by giving away books and urging parents to read to their children because high proficiency in reading correlates to better grades in school and success in life.
The festival is free and open to the public.
1. In just a few days, Mr. Ghetto's "Walmart" has been the subject of nearly three million Google searches:
2. Since Alex Woodward wrote about the song Wednesday, it's been taken off YouTube, then reposted "adults only." Gossip blogger Perez Hilton — who calls the song the "smash hit of summer 2011" — preserved a copy, which we'll put here in case the original disappears again:
3. AdAge, the advertising industry magazine, wrote a lengthy article about it, noting "At Least Store Was Clean, Well-Stocked", while suggesting Mr. Ghetto missed out on paid product placement opportunities:
But besides content deemed offensive by most YouTube voters, the store comes across looking pretty good — clean and well stocked with a wide assortment. Right on message for Walmart.
And Mr. Ghetto portrays Walmart as a great place to meet women. "Man, forget going to the club to meet some new," he says at the outset. "When I want me some new, I will get me a basket and walk around Walmart."
Summer's Eve and Massengil feminine wash products also get prominent play, as does the Louisiana Purchase state electronic benefits transfer card, all almost certainly without pay or authorization.
4. One group not so amused by the whole thing: a lot of black women. MediaTakeout.com ("the most visited urban website in the world") named the song "Hot Mess of the Week," while Bossip's discussion boards were full of angry messages. For those, let's twerk our way under the jump.
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