As COVID-19 continues to impact the City of New Orleans, many small businesses have been forced to close altogether or adapt in ways they would never have imagined just a couple months ago. For Simply Dispensary, a local wellness products retailer with locations Uptown, in Mid-City, in the Marigny, and on the West Bank, that meant transitioning into a completely new industry in just a matter of weeks.
Since the beginning of March, Simply Dispensary has harnessed its relationships with suppliers and manufacturers in the U.S. and abroad to provide much needed personal protective equipment (PPE) and hard-to-find supplies—hand sanitizer, disposable gloves, and 3-ply disposable face masks—to restaurants, convenience stores, and other businesses. “When it comes down to it, we are in the business of selling wellness products,” said co-owner and general manager Sean Partridge. “As this outbreak started affecting our city and the people we care about, and you can’t find the supplies you need to stay safe and well anywhere, we knew we had to start offering these products ourselves.” By mid-March, when the City of New Orleans announced the stay-at-home order, Simply Dispensary had already brought in inventory of hand sanitizer, disposable gloves, and hand soap.
The smell of sautéed shallots, butter browning, and sugar caramelizing hits your nose the moment you walk down the halls of Nicholls State University’s Chef John Folse Culinary Institute, the only post-secondary institution in Louisiana offering a four-year culinary degree. Your mouth is watering before you even see the state-of-the-art kitchens donated by Arlen “Benny” Cenac—Houma businessman and owner of Cenac Marine, Main Iron Works, Houma Machine and Propeller, and Golden Ranch Farms. Back in 2015, as soon as Benny Cenac learned that construction of the school’s new culinary arts building might not move forward due to lack of funding, he knew he had to act fast. The school needed additional funding to receive the match from the state of Louisiana to complete the cooking school renovations. Benny, ever the Cajun food aficionado and proud Nicholls alum, recognized the cultural, historical, and economic impact the culinary program had on both the local university and in keeping South Louisiana culinary traditions alive.
In 2015, Benny Cenac made a very generous donation in honor of his long-time employee and friend, Lanny D. Ledet, that led to the creation of a 33,000 square foot state-of-the art culinary facility, complete with six kitchens, lecture rooms, and a student study lounge. The Lanny D. Ledet Culinary Arts Building even features a full-size, 96-seat restaurant called Bistro Ruth, named in honor of New Orleans restaurateur Ruth Fertel.
Clerk Chelsey Richard Napoleon announces FREE complimentary subscriptions to the Remote Access system, including civil records and land records. This will allow the public the flexibility of anytime, anywhere and anyplace access to information in both the Civil and Land Records divisions. Current subscribers will receive a complimentary extension. Members of the Louisiana Bar can electronically file (E-File) civil pleadings using the Remote Access system. Note that if you created an account previously, it has been reactivated at no cost.
This week, we’ve decided to do a little sprucing up with our film lineup and give you not just one new film, or two new films, but THREE NEW FILMS all on the same day. This Friday we have three new releases that run the gamut from family friendly big-budget fare, to a return from a filmmaker who made the most critically acclaimed film ever shot in Louisiana. ONWARD is the latest Pixar joint, and we don’t have to remind you of their track record. This movie takes the trope of children dealing with the loss of a parent and turns in on its head with excellent results. Add in some fantasy D&D elements and you’ve got something for kids and the parents who still remember where their D20 is at.
This week brings both Valentine’s Day and a slew of Mardi Gras parades to our fair city, and we get it, you have a lot of entertainment options to choose from. Might we offer a humble suggestion? Nobody is going to spray paint their spot in our theater, and our ladders are stored far away from your eye lines. And while we don’t have any shoes to hand out, we do have a fabulous new release and a returning favorite for you to watch this weekend. THE PHOTOGRAPH opens on Valentine’s Day, and there is no better weekend to catch it.
Do you believe in second chances? We do. This weekend, we are bringing back what we consider the best film to not get nominated for Best Picture so that you can judge for yourself. Did it deserve the slight or should it have gotten the 10th spot on the Oscar shortlist? UNCUT GEMS returns on a limited schedule this weekend.
Forward New Orleans (FNO) issued its First Progress Report on the 2018 Municipal Elections Platform today. The Progress Report is an assessment of our elected officials’ work towards achieving the Platform’s objectives in six priority areas: public safety, infrastructure, economic opportunity, city services, city finance, and civil service. Since 2010, FNO has developed issue-based platforms to shape the policy priorities within municipal elections. FNO seeks pledges of support for the Platform from mayoral and city council candidates, with those pledges becoming mandates for post-election action by elected officials. FNO issues regular progress reports that assess the City’s advancement towards fulfilling the Platform’s objectives, and this is the first report to measure the achievements of the Cantrell Administration and the current City Council since the 2018 municipal elections.
Seven stunning homes in the Garden District and Lower Garden District will open their doors this weekend for a New Orleans tradition and holiday calendar highlight. Equipped with festive decoration and live performances by local musicians, these private residences will host the PRC’s 44th annual Holiday Home Tour this Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14 and 15. The tour headquarters at Trinity Episcopal Church, you’ll find a holiday boutique with great gifts, handmade jewelry, artwork, and more, as well as a café with seasonal treats by Gracious Bakery. Holiday Home Tour
Saturday & Sunday, Dec.
Dr. Ali Sadeghi hosts
“Let’s Hear It For The Girls” breast cancer fundraiser gala
City lights twinkled on the waterfront. Neon windbreakers and leg warmers twirled on the dance floor at La Maison Du Lac on Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans on a beautiful fall night. On the 25th of October, the Sadeghi Center for Plastic Surgery hosted its first “Let’s Hear It For The Girls” Gala to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. Complete with a DJ jockeying ’80s dance tunes, delicious food, a photo booth, and a live auction, the event raised over $30,000 for the cause. Though the party was a ball, breast cancer is a serious matter that deserves attention.
You may have seen recent news of the New Orleans City Council adopting the Mayor’s proposed budget. I am writing before Thanksgiving to emphasize what government did for the people we represent. The Council and the Mayor worked together to increase critical City services without increasing the City’s millages. In politics, there is a tendency to speak in broad strokes. The details matter in this case. There were 90.69 millages belonging to the City and City-related entities before this year’s property assessments. After skyrocketing assessments, those millages were rolled back by law to 86.09. The question then was how to upgrade City services without rolling the overall millage rate above 86.09. To answer, we needed to be creative, work collaboratively, and make some difficult choices. We had to strike the right balance of ensuring the most vital public services were funded (drainage, public safety, and early childhood education) while keeping the City and the City’s related millages at 86.09. This budget accomplished exactly that. As always, I appreciate the ongoing dialogue, insight, and support received from District A residents and businesses during the budgeting process. Together, we are improving City government. My goal is to find common-sense solutions to tough problems. We did that here. If you would like a more detailed explanation of the budget (the next District A newsletter will be solely dedicated to this topic) or to connect on another issue with my Council office, please call (504) 658-1010 or email Joseph.Giarrusso@nola.gov.
A New Orleans-based startup is working to match verified behavioral health treatment providers with patients who need their help. The Trusted Provider Network (TPN) platform is just that: an online network of licensed clinicians across the state, connecting their clients with specialists that would benefit them the most. According to their website, “TPN offers a local community with a national reach to providers who meet the highest code of clinical services, ethics, and professional standards.”
CEO Trevor Colhoun, who has a background in capital markets and private equity, saw an opportunity with TPN to fix some of the issues faced when dealing with the behavioral health system. “Two years ago, I started getting very fascinated with behavioral health. We had some family members go through different aspects of the behavioral health path,” Colhoun said.