Jefferson Parish

Thursday, August 22, 2013

JPAS and New Orleans Opera Association announce 2013-2014 schedules

Posted By on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 11:59 AM

The Jefferson Performing Arts Society (JPAS) and the New Orleans Opera Association (NOOA) announced their 2013-2014 schedules. JPAS opens its season Sept. 20 with Blueberry Hill, an original musical production by Butch Caire celebrating classic New Orleans R&B with songs by Fats Domino, Irma Thomas and Ernie K-Doe. Many JPAS shows run in Jefferson Parish and on the Northshore. Visit the website for details. The opera association opens its season with Marschner's The Vampire (Der Vampyr). Opera productions are at the Mahalia Jackson Theater except for Noah's Flood, which is at Trinity Episcopal Church. The schedules are as follows:

Sept. 20-Oct. 20 Blueberry Hill
Oct. 11 Pasta and Puccini fundraising gala
Oct. 18-Nov. 17 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Nov. 22-Dec. 22 A Tuna Christmas
Dec. 21-22 Ballet Hysell's The Nutcracker
Jan. 24-Feb. 23, 2014 Murder at Cafe Noir
March 7-April 6 The Perfect Wedding

JPAS shows by and for young audiences
Nov. 1-10 Little Shop of Horrors
Dec. 6-8 School House Rock Live! Jr.
Feb. 14-16, 2014 Willy Wonka Jr.
March 21-30, 2014 Grease

Oct. 11 & 13 The Vampire
Nov. 17 Noah's Flood (at Trinity Episcopal Church)
Feb. 14 & 16 Cinderella
April 4 & 6 La Boheme

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Kenner's Hollywood Cinemas 9 movie theater has closed

Posted By on Sun, Jun 16, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Kenner's Hollywood Cinemas 9 movie theater closed abruptly Friday, according to a report.

"One local moviegoer said he went to the theater to catch the locally shot heist film Now You See Me, only to see employees carrying supplies out of the darkened building."-
Vishu Mandava, the theater's owner for over a decade, couldn't fund renovations and had trouble passing inspections. The worst thing for Mandava, however, was the impending opening of The Grand, a 2,400-seat, 14-screen movie theater. The Grand is slated to open around August (years after Memorial Day 2009, the opening date authorities originally gave) near The Esplanade, only a seven-minute walk away from where Hollywood Cinemas 9 was.

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What may be the twist of the knife for Mandava, is The Grand's principal source of funding: a Go Zone federal loan, designed to reinvest in communities damaged by Hurricane Katrina. According to The Lens' Ariella Cohen, more than half of the GO Zone funding went to oil, gas and chemical companies.

To say I patronized Hollywood Cinemas 9 often would be a lie. The last time I went there was in 2002 or 2003 to see Brown Sugar with my Aunt Cheryl. It wasn't the best theater, but it wasn't the worst, like The Joy in the '90s. The Joy in the '90s was like the movie scene in Cooley High. To lose Hollywood Cinemas 9 — especially so suddenly — seems to go against what Mandava's idea was in reopening the theater in 2002 — providing Kenner residents with a nearby, inexpensive movie theater.

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Friday, May 10, 2013

A failure to lead

Posted By on Fri, May 10, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Imagine yourself the manager of a local grocery store. Now imagine that you forgot to order king cakes in time for Carnival season. The cakes arrive on Ash Wednesday, so you quietly put them on “sale” and, when questioned by the store owner about lost profits, you blame your employees for the snafu and say that the store has always put leftover king cakes on sale after Mardi Gras.

That, in effect, is how Jefferson Parish President John Young explained his bungling of the parish’s failed millage propositions on May 4.

The propositions were intended to extend a pair of 5-mill property taxes that provide for critical sewerage and water services in most of Jefferson and to renew a 20-mill tax for fire protection in Terrytown. They had the misfortune of appearing on the same ballot as the wildly unpopular CCC tolls, which Jefferson voters killed by a margin of more than four-to-one.

Everyone saw the tolls’ defeat coming. All the more reason, therefore, for Young, as the parish’s chief executive, to marshal Jefferson’s civic and political forces in support of the millages, which every responsible citizen agrees are absolutely necessary. Instead, he ran to the front of the anti-toll parade and all but ignored the parish millages, at least publicly. He even sent out a parish-wide email the day before the election with the subject line, “Vote NO Tomorrow.” The text of his email message dealt exclusively with the tolls, no mention of the millages.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Jeff Parish officials to state leges: Cancel new toll referendum

Posted By on Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Jefferson Parish Council Chairman Chris Roberts and Councilman-at-large Elton Lagasse have sent an open letter to state representatives, asking them to call off the special election in May that would have voters (again) determine the fate of the now-suspended tolls on the Crescent City Connection.

Roberts and Lagasse also announced that the council would act on a formal resolution requesting the state legislature to "save the cost of the election which would be incurred by the State of Louisiana."

Letter under the jump.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Metairie Family Gras lineup announced

Posted By on Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Fitz and the Tantrums (Moneygrabber) will be playing the first day of Family Gras in Jefferson Parish.
  • Fitz and the Tantrums ("Moneygrabber") will be playing the first day of Family Gras in Jefferson Parish.

If you want a taste of Carnival during Super Bowl weekend, you'll have to leave Orleans Parish and head to Jefferson, where there are three parades on the East Bank and one on the West Bank. Or you can go to the Veterans Memorial Boulevard neutral ground in front of Lakeside Shopping Center, where the parish's annual Family Gras festival will be held Fri.-Sat. Feb. 1-2, featuring plenty of live music both days. The first day's theme is "Fun Friday" (wear your Carnival colors), while the second day is "Sports Saturday," where attendees are encouraged to break out the colors of their favorite teams. (In response to the commenter below: Family Gras has been abbreviated to two days this year because of the Super Bowl, but the festival plans on going back to three days next year.)

Under the jump: the lineups for both days. They're still working out some of the times, but here's what we know:

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Broussard's ministry

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 10:51 PM

The latest rumor about former Jefferson Parish president Aaron Broussard is that he has decided to form a prison ministry in anticipation of his conviction on federal criminal charges. He faces several dozen felony counts, including conspiracy, fraud and bribery, among others.

Several of Broussard’s friends have told me they heard “prison ministry” talk from Broussard himself, so it’s more than just a rumor. Of course, most of those same friends also shake their heads when they tell that story. Some wonder if Broussard has lost his senses.

It’s not unusual for those who have found the Lord to be accused of insanity. Broussard’s well-documented penchant for showing his emotions publicly merely adds a measure of believability to such talk. After all, the other rumor — which I have heard from attorneys who I believe know a thing or two about this case — is that the feds offered Broussard a plea deal that would have let him off with probation … and he turned it down.

If that’s true, the presiding judge should appoint a sanity commission forthwith. After all, you don’t have to be an inmate to have a successful prison ministry. Just ask Sister Helen Prejean.

Meanwhile, Broussard’s last remaining co-defendant, former Jefferson Parish Attorney Tom Wilkinson, proved this past week that he’s no loon. Wilkinson cut a deal to plead guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to commit misprision of a felony. In return for his expected testimony against Broussard, the feds are dropping 22 more serious felony counts against him.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Broussard co-defendant has charges drastically reduced, may be cooperating with feds

Posted By on Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Court filings indicated that former Jefferson Parish Attorney Tom Wilkinson, who last month pleaded not guilty to more than 20 counts of fraud and conspiracy for his alleged role in the ongoing corruption case centered around former parish president Aaron Broussard, may be cooperating with federal investigators.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten today filed a superseding bill of information against Wilkinson. A bill of information generally indicates that a defendant has decided to cooperate. He was formerly charged in an indictment along with Broussard. What's more, the bill of information contains only one charge, misprision of a felony, the same, lesser charge to which Broussard's ex-wife Karen Parker and former parish Chief Administrative Officer have already pleaded guilty. Whitmer and Parker are both listed as witnesses for the prosecution in the case.

Read the bill of information: WilkinsonBOI.pdf

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Broussard, Wilkinson plead not guilty (again)

Posted By on Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Aaron Broussard outside U.S. District Court following todays not guilty plea.
  • Aaron Broussard outside U.S. District Court following today's not guilty plea.

Former Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard and former parish attorney Tom Wilkinson today pleaded not guilty to more than twenty federal charges including payroll fraud, theft of federal funds, conspiracy and, as of a second superseding indictment released by the U.S. Attorney's Office this week, bribery. Broussard, who has been receiving treatment for prostate cancer since March, revealed to federal Magistrate Judge Frances Stacy that he has recently been diagnosed with skin cancer.

Today marks the third time Broussard and Wilkinson pleaded not guilty before Stacy in an arraignment hearing, as the government's case has continued to evolve.

"This indictment's a bit different from the former indictment in that accusations have been added," Stacy said before reading out the charges.

(More after the jump)

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Aaron Broussard, Tom Wilkinson face new charges

Posted By on Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Former Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard and former parish attorney Tom Wilkinson face new charges from federal prosecutors, according to this morning's indictment, which adds six new charges to the duo's pending fraud charges. (Read the Aaron Broussard/Jeff Parish scandal FAQ here.)

Today's superseding indictment charges Broussard and Wilkinson with conspiracy to commit bribery, and Broussard was additionally charged with five counts of substantive bribery — unrelated to the 2003 conspiring to hire Broussard's then-girlfriend Karen Parker as a paralegal supervisor (despite not having any experience) and bumping up her salary significantly. (Parker pleaded guilty; Broussard and Wilkinson did not, to any of the 30-plus charges against them.)

In March, former parish chief administrative officer Tim Whitmer pleaded guilty to one count of concealment of a felony as part of a plea deal to cooperate with the prosecution in the Broussard case.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mitt, Bath and Beyond

Posted By on Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 10:46 AM

From the cartoon Awkward Voter Encounters With Mitt Romney.
  • From the cartoon "Awkward Voter Encounters With Mitt Romney."
In Louisiana's GOP primary race, Rick Santorum may be leader of the pack coming up to Saturday's election, but Mitt Romney's going to be putting forth his best effort in Metairie Friday morning when he holds a mini-rally against President Barack Obama's health care plan at Clearview Mall's Clearview Room. The name of the rally: "Repeal and Replace Obamacare."

For Romney fans, this will be a great chance to get a close-up look at the candidate; the Clearview Rooms are two modest meeting spaces that are normally the home of baby and bridal shows.

"Boasting an elegant feel with over 3,000 square feet in two meeting rooms," the combined spaces can accommodate up to 300 people, and provide direct access to both the food court and Serrano's restaurant. Just remember: no confetti, glitter, rice, birdseed, streamers or open flames are allowed. Oh, and no DJs.

The rally is is scheduled to start at 9 a.m and is open to the public. Under the cut: A list of Louisiana politicos who are supporting or who have endorsed Romney, according to the campaign.

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