Algiers recreation under construction

New Orleans — Construction has started on a new section of the Algiers levee bike and walking path, with a ceremonial ground-breaking ceremony that was held Thursday.

The 2.05 mile path will run from the Algiers Point ferry terminal to the old Todd Shipyard near Federal City and will join with the existing path along the levee.

The path will also include lamp posts every 150 feet.

The extension will enable walkers and cyclists to travel along the path to the ferry terminal and to both sides of the river.

It will also provide West Bank residents easier access to jobs and activities in the Central Business District and the French Quarter, and to community activities along or near the Algiers’ levee.

“This bike path brings incredible benefits to Algiers residents and will also make it easier for people to come to the West Bank,” said New Orleans City Council member Kristin Gisleson Palmer.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this project.

“It greatly improves local transportation options and will create more access to and from job opportunities,” Palmer said .

Volunteers spruce up playground

New Orleans — Nearly 170 volunteers joined city agencies, the New Orleans Police and Fire Departments and community organizations for the second “NOLA FOR LIFE Volunteer Day” on Nov. 10.

The event, which took place at East Shore Playground and the Little Woods Neighborhood, was part of Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s NOLA FOR LIFE comprehensive murder reduction strategy.

Volunteers painted East Shore Playground signs, built and installed eight park benches, painted five trash cans, covered 20 square feet of graffiti, and cleaned and restored two basketball backboards.

The effort included blight eradication and beautification work by Public Works; Parks & Parkways; Sanitation; New Orleans Recreation Development Commission; Code Enforcement/New Orleans Redevelopment Authority; Sewerage & Water Board; and the Neighborhood Engagement Office.

The city repaired 257 potholes, replaced eight catch basins, repaired 12 street signs, replaced eight light fixtures in the basketball pavilion, cut six blocks of overgrown grass, replaced five light poles and demolished one blighted property.

Rebuilding Together New Orleans, Hands on New Orleans, the Young Leadership Council and Rouse’s were partners in the effort.

Chanukah Bazaar features art, food

New Orleans — The Touro Synagogue Sisterhood is staging an art market-style boutique shopping event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at Touro Synagogue, 4238 St. Charles Ave.

The bazaar will feature 20 local artists and artisans with products ranging from jewelry, clothing, accessories, photography, pottery, ceramics, home items, stationary in addition to Chanukah and Judaica items.

Healthy event set at Barataria Preserve

Marrero — The National Park Service is teaming up with West Jefferson Medical Center for Better Health BaYOU! Day, a free family event that will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the Barataria Preserve’s Environmental Education Center, 6588 Barataria Blvd. in Marrero.

Activities will include trail runs and walks, zumba, line dancing, tai chi demonstrations, environmental games, free blood pressure and blood glucose screenings and live bluegrass music. Staff from the medical center will also provide health information ranging from smoking cessation to sleeping disorders.

The National Park Foundation provided funding for Better Health BaYOU! Day as well as funds for preserve trail improvements as part of the foundation’s Active Trails program.

Covington school breaks ground

Covington — Christ Episcopal School broke ground last week for a 16,000-square-foot building called the Center for Inquiry that will house six classrooms, a state of the art library and a performing arts theater .

The theater will be used by the local community as well as the school.

Four years ago Christ Episcopal School decided to add a high school to its educational program, which up until then consisted of grades Early 4s/PK to 8th grade. In 2008, five students joined the first ever freshman class at CES. The school added a grade a year and today has 40 high school students.

The five original students, who are now seniors, will be able to graduate in the new theatre in the Center of Inquiry this May.

Emeril Lagasse gala raises funds

New Orleans — The Emeril Lagasse Foundation’s 8th Annual Carnivale du Vin raised more than $2.2 million to support efforts to help children in New Orleans and the Gulf South.

The 10-year-old foundation focuses on culinary arts; school food and nutrition; and arts and education programs. It has supported the NOCCA Culinary Arts Studio, Emeril’s Culinary Center at St. Michael Special School, Café Reconcile, among other programs.

The annual gala and wine auction drew more than 600 guests to the New Orleans Convention Center.

Emeril’s Carnivale fundraising weekend was kicked off by the second annual Boudin & Beer, an indoor/outdoor food and music festival at the Foundry on Nov. 2

Residents along a select group of parish streets will see roadway improvements, including patching, overlaying and striping as the 2012 Road Maintenance Program kicks into high gear.

St. Charles Parish repairs streets

Hahnville — Contractors will work on 34 streets in each St. Charles Parish community this season, with overlay work already done on Lowe Street in Hahnville, Fourth Street in Norco and Amelia Street in Ama.

“Our road maintenance program in particular is one of those projects in which citizens truly see their tax dollars at work,” St. Charles Parish President V.J. St. Pierre said.

Many of the streets will have work completed in phases, beginning with patchwork and continuing with removing of 2 inches of asphalt.

Repaving is the third step, and the fourth and final step are the addition and spreading of dirt along the roadway shoulders to eliminate drop-off.

The St. Charles Parish Council in August awarded low-bidder Barriere Construction Co. LLC a contract of about $1.5 million to complete the scheduled work. GEC Inc. Consulting Engineers performed design work on the improvements.

The council approved GEC to engineer the programs from 2012 through 2015.

Funding for the roadwork comes, in part, in the form of approximately $500,000 from the state’s transportation fund. Remaining funds come from a parish property tax, which was set by the council at 5.94 mills this year.

The St. Charles Parish Public Information Office posts daily announcements about the location and duration of roadwork in the parish to the parish website at, the parish Facebook page at and Government Access Channel 6 on Cox Cable.

Compiled by the New Orleans bureau