Archive for the Living Well Category

Litter Education for Grades K-5 Receives Unanimous Support

Posted in Featured, HISTORY, Living Well, Magical Mystery Tour with tags , , , , , , on July 7, 2017 by katrinafilm

litter educationphoto courtesy keeplouisianabeautiful.org

LITTER EDUCATION RECEIVES UNANIMOUS SUPPORT

By Susan Russell / Executive Director, Keep Louisiana Beautiful

At a time when our national and state politics are fraught with partisan discord, it’s significant to note that there are some policies that find favor on both sides of the aisle. Such a case occurred last month, when House Bill 111, which calls for the incorporation of litter education into the K-5 curriculum, received unanimous support from the House and Senate — to a round of applause. The bill was signed into law earlier this month as Louisiana Act 72, and Governor Edwards gave it his executive approval surrounded by Keep Louisiana Beautiful representatives, Representative Stuart Bishop (R-Lafayette, author of HB111), First Lady Donna Edwards and Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, all of whom have been ardent supporters of anti-litter initiatives in our state.

Much has been said about Louisiana’s dirty habit: we have a crippling litter problem that seems to be getting worse. Much time and resources have been spent bemoaning the problem, pointing well-intentioned fingers in different directions, all trying to find out exactly what the problem is here that you don’t see in many of our neighboring states. As in most complicated social problems, there is no magic bullet to apply to this issue and a multi-pronged approach from all aspects of our society will be required. While parents assume a huge responsibly to teach their children not to litter, we cannot put this squarely on the back of those that are oftentimes the biggest offenders. The problem will only be resolved when all of Louisiana embraces three core initiatives: improving infrastructure and policy to make it easier to reduce littering and increase recycling; increasing enforcement of the litter laws; and influencing behavior change through environmental education. Louisiana Act 72 will go a long way to address the latter.

Teaching environmental stewardship and litter education is the first step we can make towards changing our prevailing cultural attitude from one of environmental disregard to one of true stewardship. Litter education goes beyond simply not throwing trash on the ground– it includes full understanding of the impact of litter on the health of our wildlife, waterways, and economy. Most importantly, it focuses on prevention rather than spotty-at- best treatment.

Keep Louisiana Beautiful, its statewide network of 40 affiliates that boast a combined force of 35,000 volunteers, and all of its many partners and supporters extend a sincere thanks to Representative Stuart Bishop and the state’s top leadership body for supporting legislature that teaches our children environmental responsibility. We hope that this measure will spark a new level of commitment and care for our state and its natural resources.

2017 Bastille Day in Faubourg St. John Celebrates Joie de Vivre

Posted in Featured, HISTORY, Living Well with tags , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2017 by katrinafilm

Join the fun in the 3100 block of Ponce de Leon for the Faubourg St. John Bastille Day block party in New Orleans on Saturday (July 15) from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The celebration will include food, music, children’s activities, and an art market. There will also be a contest for the best Marie Antoinette or Napoleon costume.

Many people will enjoy the Faubourg St. John Bastille Day block party in the 3100 block of Ponce de Leon in New Orleans on Saturday, July 15, 2017. The celebration will include food, music, children’s activities, and an art market.

On July 14, 1789 more than 8,000 men and women stormed a prison fortress in Paris known as the Bastille, demanding the release of the political prisoners being held there, plus the prison’s store of weapons. The storming of the Bastille was the spark that set off the French Revolution, an event that had a significant impact not only on France itself but its colonies and former colonies as well, including New Orleans.

Arising from the tumult and chaos of the French Revolution was a young, ambitious general named Napoleon Bonaparte. In order to help finance his wars in Europe Napoleon sold off his country’s largest North American colony in what became known as the Louisiana Purchase. With that 1803 transaction, New Orleans and the rest of Louisiana – plus a vast swath of land between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains – became part of the United States.

bastille-day-faubourg-st-johnBastille Day is commemorated in New Orleans on the closest Saturday preceding the 14th of July. The occasion is celebrated with a block party in the 3100 block of Ponce de Leon Street in the city’s historic Faubourg St. John neighborhood, adjacent to Esplanade Avenue. This quiet, residential section of the city was once the home of many families of French Creole aristocracy. Most of the historic houses they lived in are still visible and in use today.

The Faubourg St. John Bastille Day party on Saturday, July 15, 2017 features live music, food and drinks to toast the memorable occasion. This is a family-oriented event with fun things for the kids to do, including arts and crafts and games. All of the neighborhood’s stores and businesses actively participate.

article courtesy neworleansonline.com

NEIGHBORS TO REMOVE INVASIVE SPECIES FROM BAYOU ST. JOHN ON JUNE 20 and JUNE 24

Posted in CRIME, HISTORY, Living Well, More Great Posts! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2017 by katrinafilm

by Sara Beth Howard

NEIGHBORS TO REMOVE INVASIVE SPECIES FROM BAYOU ST. JOHN ON JUNE 20 and JUNE 24

Kayakityat ( http://kayakitiyat.com/ ) is hosting two events on June 20th and June 24th to remove the invasive water hyacinths from the north end of Bayou St John.

Please join your neighbors for some fun and help make a difference on June 20 and June 24

Tuesday, June 20th 12PM to 2PM
https://www.facebook.com/events/487442778269543

Saturday, June 24th 9AM to 11AM
https://www.facebook.com/events/1790765734586521

For more information, please visit the facebook pages above or contact Sara at
info@kayakitiyat.com , or call 985-778-5034 or 512-964-9499

WATER HYACINTHS ARE SPREADING RAPIDLY IN BAYOU ST. JOHN AND NEED TO BE REMOVED IMMEDIATELY

CLICK ON THE MAP FOR A LARGER VIEW OF THE SPREAD OF WATER HYACINTHS IN BAYOU ST. JOHN

Late last Fall, water hyacinths were introduced into the north end of Bayou St. John.
In just six months, it has multiplied many times. It now lines the west bank of Bayou St John from Robert E Lee Blvd to Filmore Ave.
It moves with the wind, so parts have broken off and made their way to other parts of the bayou, likely even beyond the Filmore Avenue bridge.

According to the University of Florida, one plant can grow to cover an acre in one growing season!

This is a very prolific and dangerous invasive aquatic plant that is now threatening the health of Bayou St John. We must carefully manually remove every piece. If one tiny portion of a plant is left, it’ll will become a whole new reproducing plant. We must dispose of it in a place where it dies completely and cannot re-enter any waterways including storm drains that lead back out to Lake Pontchartrain.

This does not only threaten the recreational use of Bayou St. John but, the ecological health we’ve worked so hard to improve.

Kayakityat is coordinating two removal days within a week to in order to ensure the most thorough removal, ideally eradication. It will be up to all of us individually to remove plants as we see them pop up through-out the future.

DAY 1: 12PM to 2PM Tuesday, June 20th. The Barman’s Fund has graciously offered their services.
It is specially scheduled to accommodate service industry folks. Anyone is welcome to join! This will be the bulk of the removal; we’ll get the big obvious patches.

DAY 2: 9AM to 11AM Saturday, June 24th. This removal will be a bit more meticulous.
We’ll have to spread out and look for hidden patches and individual plants along the banks.

Each event will be followed by a swim in Lake Pontchartrain and a bit of lakefront chillin’!

We need the following supplies; any donations are welcome!

2 Pick-Up Trucks that can handle some weight. We need to transport the plants to a composting sight; it may take multiple trips.

Canoes. If you have one, bring it with you. They can hold more plants than a kayak.

Pitch Forks. 3 to 6 at minimum for removal from banks.
Nets with short handles for removal from boats.

Dump Site. Ideally, all this vegetation should be composted. If anyone knows of a business that will take it, let us know.

Anyone with experience removing water hyacinth or taking on similar projects, please share suggestions and/or equipment.

Those interested can contact Sara at 512-964-9499 or info@kayakitiyat.com)

AUTOMATIC RETRACTABLE SCREEN STORMWATER INLET PROTECTION DEVICES

Posted in Featured, HISTORY, Living Well, More Great Posts! with tags , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2017 by katrinafilm

Thanks to Robert Thompson for sending this in…
Article courtesy Forester Magazines
http://foresternetwork.com/erosion-control-magazine/ec-soil/ec-erosion-control/protecting-storm-drain-inlets/

Everybody loves a party, and nobody loves a good time more than New Orleans, particularly during Mardi Gras when nearly one and a half million visitors flood the city, more than tripling its usual population. But after any good time, there is a lot to clean up from the festivities, and street trash is an overwhelming burden. This year the city had help, thanks to the Wing-Gate automatic retractable screen (ARS) stormwater inlet protection devices from California-based United Storm Water Inc. and United Pumping Services.

Company stormwater sales manager Terry Flury explains how the specialized protection devices help municipalities cope with the everyday headache of trapping trash and protecting stormwater. “Although we originated in southern California, compliance with increasingly stringent policies of municipal separate stormwater sewer systems [MS4s] across the country is helping drive our popularity. Our full-capture devices are all stainless steel and have a five-millimeter perforated screen that prevents items as small as a cigarette butt from entering storm drains.

“We also have stormwater filter DrainPacs that filter out hydrocarbons, and we can customize the filter media to address whatever the customer needs. For example, if you’re concerned about heavy metals, oils, or fertilizer, the filter media could be Perlite, activated carbon, or whatever you might need to address the problem.”

And customizing the product is all in a day’s work, even when it’s a rush to meet the deadline for arguably the country’s biggest, or at least most enthusiastic, outdoor party.

“We recently did a Wing-Gate screen install on Bourbon Street in New Orleans,” explains Flury, “and we had to come up with a special design. Our standard ARS screens are configured completely different and could not accommodate the New Orleans street grate models, which are very unusual and strange looking, made around 1900, and all cast iron with multi-phased support legs.”

Flury says the city wanted something in place by Mardi Gras 2016, so the design team was challenged to come up with a new configuration.

“We did a pilot test of 30 basins and came up with a Wing-Gate design that was completely different. This went through [the city’s] approval process and we had the screens in place well before Mardi Gras.”

City officials were pleased, he says. “We’re now working on a plan to eventually do the whole city.”

The Wing-Gate devices, he explains, are automatic retractable screens that respond to the incoming water, both retaining trash and allowing water to flow. The ARS fits right into the curb openings; in dry months the screen prevents trash from entering the catch basins, and during rain events it opens after water reaches about 40% of curb height. Connector screens then act as a second line of defense for debris, protecting the outlet pipes.

Sometimes meeting client needs has to address more than making a new size or configuration. Flury describes how the bright stainless steel of the ARS was virtually a magnet for scrap collectors in some urban areas. “So for customers who need it, what we’ve done is simply finish the stainless in flat black paint with a powder coating, which replicates plastic and draws far less attention and protects their investment.”

Since the company actually comprises two entities—United Stormwater and United Pumping—Flury says they can manage not only client stormwater needs, but also hazardous waste.

“If we run into a hazardous waste issue, we can act in a remedial capacity. For example, if we run into an oil spill, oil in storm drains, our crews will come and dam up the area and either broom off or vacuum the oil. We really have the best of both worlds when it comes to managing and protecting our water.”

Bayou Cutters Sail Along the Banks of Bayou St. John

Posted in Featured, HISTORY, Living Well, More Great Posts! with tags , , , , , , on April 4, 2017 by katrinafilm

This morning, the Orleans Levee Board cut the grass on the banks of Bayou St. John.
As the photo below sent in by Tommy Lewis shows, they did a tremendous job!

Bayou cutters sailed through the grass on the banks of Bayou St. John this morning. Click on Tommy Lewis’ photo for a larger view.

***

Orleans Levee Board Continues to Impress with Work on Bayou St. John

The Orleans Levee Board takes care of the banks of Bayou St. John.
As you can see from Charlie London’s photos below of today’s work on the bayou, they continue to do high quality work for you and me.

***

Bayou St. John is the Reason for New Orleans


by Angela Carll
Times Picayune – November 15, 1985
Bayou St. John is the reason New Orleans is located where it is. The bayou provided a connection from the Mississippi River overland via an old Indian path to Lake Ponchartrain.

A number of historic landmarks still stand in this neighborhood to remind visitors of the city’s heritage.

The Old Spanish Custom House, built in 1784 at the corner of Moss Street and Grand Route Saint John, is the oldest structure in this neighborhood.
Another renowned home is the Pitot House, named for James Pitot, the second mayor of New Orleans. Built in 1799 at 1370 Moss Street, the Pitot House was later moved a short distance up the bayou to 1440 Moss in 1970.

The Tivoli amusement park once stood where the Pitot House is now. It featured a pavillion, orange trees, and dances were held there on Sundays.

Much of Bayou St. John remained swampy and unable to be developed while the city was attempting to drain the area, which was called “back of town” as early as 1835.

In 1866, the city started using the bayou as a drainage receptacle, and a community of houseboats grew up along it. In 1936, the State House of Representatives declared the bayou a non-navigable stream.

Fort St. John, where the bayou and lake meet, was originally built as a fortification by the French and later became the most prominent resort area in New Orleans during the 1930s. The Old Spanish Fort still stands on this site.

The fort is a modern-day battleground. The Orleans Levee Board has proposed replacing the Lakeshore Drive bridge that spans the bayou at its entrance to the lake with a grade-level crossing using culverts for water to flow back and forth from the lake to the bayou.

Members of the Bayou St. John Improvement Association sued the Levee Board to halt construction, arguing that wind moves water currents and that the City Park lagoons which are fed by water from the bayou will stagnate. They also contended that closing the mouth of the bayou will damage an important part of the city’s historical heritage. (The “waterfall dam” near the mouth of Bayou St. John was removed in 2013. Please visit the link for more information: http://fsjna.org/2012/08/update-on-dam-removal/)

Although the bayou today lacks even the rowing clubs, which were popular in the last century, a drive along its curving shore shows typical Louisiana country homes. It still exists to remind us of New Orleans’ earliest beginnings, and why the city was built in a place that seems most improbable to us today.

 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW A PDF OF THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE.

 

Faubourg St. John was a community ten years before the founding of New Orleans in 1718.

Click on the map of Faubourg St. John for a larger view.

For more information, please visit the ABOUT and HISTORY tabs at FSJNA dot ORG

Parkway People Perfect Parks Proudly

Posted in Featured, HISTORY, Living Well with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2017 by katrinafilm

photo and info from Robert Thompson

parks and parkways

click on the photo for a larger view

 

Whether you call it the “neutral ground” or the median strip, residents and visitors can agree Esplanade Avenue has lush greenery.

This hard working crew from Parks and Parkways keeps it that way!

Today, James and his crew were removing the oak leaf blanket which attempts to hide our roadway and choke our plantings.

These guys never seem to lack enthusiasm for the work and deserve our gratitude.  The truck in the background of the photo above is full of bags of debris they picked up today.

Please say “hello” and “thank you” on occasion, and recognize these workers and the pride they take in beautifying our public spaces.

***

New Orleans offers thousands of acres of green space for visitors and residents to enjoy, which includes parks, playgrounds, city squares, neutral grounds, and street trees. Parks and Parkways manages, maintains, develops, beautifies and preserves over 2,000 acres of New Orleans’ public green space, which includes 2 major parks, 200 smaller parks and squares, including Jackson SquareArmstrong Park/Congo Square, and Lafayette Square, New Orleans’ neutral grounds, the 18-hole Joseph M. Bartholomew Municipal Golf Course, located in Ponchartrain Park, and over 450,000 trees.

Virtually every neighborhood in New Orleans contains a park, square, or outdoor green space. These green spaces are largely regulated and maintained by two regulatory agencies, Parks and Parkways and the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission.

Three major exceptions are City Park external link, which is regulated by a unique state agency of the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism operated by the non-profit City Park Improvement Association (CPIA), and Audubon Park external link and Woldenberg Park external link along the downtown riverfront, regulated by The Audubon Commission, which was established by State Act in 1914 to maintain and develop Audubon Park.

Click here to download a PDF of the Parks and Greenspaces by Jurisdiction Map.

For more information about Parks and Parkway and the great work they do for all of us, please visit the link below:
http://www.nola.gov/parks-and-parkways/

Are Delivery Trucks Causing Injuries at Esplanade and Mystery Streets?

Posted in CRIME, Featured, HISTORY, Living Well with tags , , , , , , , on April 1, 2017 by katrinafilm

Click on the photo for a larger view

 

Let me preface this post by saying this is NOT an April Fool’s joke.

The yellow Americans with Disabilities Act mat on the corner of Esplanade and Mystery is causing injuries.

One man tripped over the mat sticking up at Esplanade and Mystery and literally fell flat on his face which bloodied his nose and caused him to lose his glasses.   Karen at Terranova’s said an ambulance was called.

A woman wearing sandals caught her toe in the protruding mat and she bled profusely leaving blood on the corner.

Trucks delivering to Canseco’s warehouse door on Mystery Street appear to be sitting on and rolling over the ADA mat on the corner of Esplanade at Mystery Street.

Click on the photo above to get a better view of the large crack above the Americans with Disabilities Act mat at the corner of Esplanade and Mystery Streets.   The crack does not appear to be one caused by settling but by a large amount of weight pressing on the area.

Large bollards on either side of the mat could alleviate the problem of trucks rolling over and sitting on the ADA mat on the corner of Esplanade and Mystery Streets.

Please call 311 if you believe that this is a situation that should be immediately repaired.   I have called but, there is strength in numbers.   This really should be repaired right away.