Construction begins on $6.7 million swimming center in Gert Town next to new police station

Just two months after announcing the start of construction on the new headquarters for the NOPD Second District in Gert Town, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and other officials returned to the site Friday morning to break ground for the new $6.7 million pool and community center that will be built next door. The 15,000-square-foot Gert Town Natatorium at 3411 Broadway Street will include a “six-lane, 25-yard indoor competition swimming pool and … men’s, women’s and a family locker room area as well as a snack bar,” the city announced. It will share a “community plaza” with the police station on the site as well, and is expected to open in spring 2018. “Community pools are critical to keeping our kids off the streets and providing them a place to come together,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu afterward.

‘Concert for the Coast’ aims to raise coastal land loss awareness on Earth Day

Restore the Mississippi River Delta, a coalition of several organizations, will present “Concert for the Coast” to help raise awareness about Louisiana’s coastal land loss crisis and the critical projects available to restore the coast. Hosted by actor-comedian Harry Shearer and featuring local celebrities and musicians, Concert for the Coast will take place on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, from 7 to 11 p.m. at Jazz and Heritage Center, 1225 North Rampart Street. The concert will feature performances by New Orleans “Superjam” band Dragon Smoke, Grammy-nominated Cajun band Lost Bayou Ramblers, and Mardi Gras Indians and brass band Voices of a Nation. Top Chef Fan Favorite and Louisiana native Chef Isaac Toups will also be on site cooking local dishes. More from Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition:
Without action, Louisiana could lose 2,250 square miles of land over the next 50 years, putting our communities and cultures at risk.

Loyola student organizations aid in tornado relief

Several student organizations at Loyola University New Orleans have made efforts to aid in tornado relief and cleanup. While the school is not equipped with tools to send students out and immediately start rebuilding, they encourage students to find ways to help, according to a report by Dannielle Garcia of The Maroon. Loyola’s Mission and Ministry office is still accepting monetary donations, as well as bottled water, canned food, unused toiletry and personal hygiene items, baby diapers and formula, and cleaning supplies for tornado victims.

For the full story from The Maroon, click here.

Advertiser’s Message: Rescue Tails of 2016

The Rescue Class of 2016…What a Year! We had a goal of 400 companion animals that would find their forever homes in 2016. We were well on our way to reaching the goal until that number was shattered after the disastrous flooding in our region in August. Our rescue brought in an additional 250+ animals that were in desperate need of care. We anticipate the final number for 2016 to be 500 saved and adopted lives!

Humane Society of Louisiana continues flood relief with benefit, disaster relief shelter

The Humane Society of Louisiana, a 501c(3) non-for-profit, has been working consistently to evacuate, rescue, care for, and aid animals and their guardians around the areas impacted by the Louisiana floods. Petcetera NOLA will host their 9th Annual “Bad to the Bone: Rescued on the Runway” fundraiser on Saturday, September 17, which will benefit the HSL and other rescue and relief organizations. Bad to the Bone is an annual Halloween fashion show with adoptable dogs from local non-profit animal rescues. The event will take place from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at Eiffel Society, located at 2040 Saint Charles Ave. The event is open for pets and all ages.

Where to donate to help victims of Louisiana flooding

Several local and national organizations have put a call out to request donations and volunteers in the wake of Louisiana’s historic flooding, which has so far killed six, according to the Weather Channel, and forced rescues of 20,000 more. Here are local and national places to give monetary donations and goods. Church Alley Coffee & The Good Shop, located at 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., is collecting toiletries, shoes, socks, cleaning supplies, baby wipes, formulas, car seats, fans, contractor garbage bags, gloves, and utility knives. Junior League of New Orleans will accept donations at their headquarters, located at 4319 Carondelet St., during normal business hours of 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday. They request the following donations:

Diapers in all sizes.

Local nonprofits awarded $250,000 to foster sustainable living

Green Light New Orleans and the Urban Conservancy, two local nonprofit organizations, received a total of $250,000 in grant money from the Allianz Katrina Fund to promote sustainable living in Orleans and Jefferson Parish by implementing programs which address energy consumption, water mitigation and fresh food access. Allianz, a global financial services company, administered the grant as part of a $1 million, long-term commitment to support people and communities impacted by Hurricane Katrina. The grant money will be distributed among all Green Light’s initiatives which promote environmental awareness and sustainability in New Orleans. The Urban Conservancy will use their portion the grant to further efforts to remove excessive paving in neighborhoods and to reduce stormwater run-off.

Owen Courreges: Support the Dryades Public Market — after all, you’re paying for it anyway

Over at Eater New Orleans, Gwendolyn Knapp sums up the ill-fated “Jack & Jake’s” grocery project quite aptly – as a money pit. The project began in 2011, when Alembic Community Development bought the former Myrtle Banks Elementary School on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. The school, built in 1910, had closed in 2002 and was gutted by fire in 2008. The Orleans Parish School Board had already determined that it wasn’t cost-effective to preserve the building, but Alembic was determined to save the façade. Alembic sought to renovate the building with offices and a large grocery store as an “anchor.” Jack & Jake’s, a wholesale grocery company founded in 2010, was chosen to open its inaugural retail site at the location.

Owen Courreges: Creating SoDoSoPa in NOLA

A few weeks ago the animated TV show “South Park” premiered a new episode regarding an issue so close to our hearts here in New Orleans: gentrification. The plot of the episode revolved around attempts by the fictitious Colorado town for which the series is named to attract a new Whole Foods Market. This, the city reasoned, would prove the backwoods hamlet to be progressive and forward-thinking. Behind closed doors, discussions ensued where the decision was made to have the city invest public funds into a trendy, upscale neighborhood out of the bad part of town – which consisted of a single dilapidated home inhabited by the hilariously impoverished McCormick family. The planned development was dubbed SoDoSoPa, short for “South of Downtown South Park.”

To provide a fig leaf of public legitimacy to the project, a public meeting was held at the South Park Community Center.

Rebuilding Together New Orleans completes 500 homes since Hurricane Katrina

This past Friday, Oct. 9, Rebuilding Together New Orleans completed the rebuilding of its 500th home since Hurricane Katrina. Through RTNO, over 500 volunteers worked on 14 home repair projects for disabled, elderly and military veteran homeowners over the first two weekends of October. For more information, see the full press release below:
During the first two weekends of October, over 500 volunteers from 32 local teams will work on 14 home repair projects for low-income homeowners through Rebuilding Together New Orleans’ 25th annual October Build presented by Chevron. This year, volunteers will be assisting 17 elderly or disabled homeowners, including five military veteran homeowners.