"Back to Bourbon Street,"

a Katrina fundraiser held on Feb.11 in Phoenix, Ariz., raised more than $400,000, primarily for the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO). Joe Piscopo, former Saturday Night Live star , headlined the event with NOJO and its artistic director, Irvin Mayfield. The event was hosted by Phoenix Suns owner Dale Jensen and former Vice President Dan Quayle, whose daughter is married to New Orleanian Darryl Berger Jr. Quayle noted that saving jazz in its birthplace was critical to preserving New Orleans' and America's culture.

Loyola Law School

once again is helping provide free income tax help to low- and moderate-income families via the IRS-sponsored VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program, which continues through April 15 at the law school, 520 Pine St. VITA volunteers are available from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays, 5:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. on Thursdays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Persons needing tax help should bring their W2s, 1099 forms, and most recent tax returns if available. For more information, call 861-5668.

Glad ForceFlex,

the first sponsor in the history of Mardi Gras, is teaming with New Orleans native and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning to mobilize hundreds of volunteers for a major French Quarter trash-clearing effort this Thursday morning (Feb. 23). Manning and Glad will be joined by the Katrina Krewe, a grassroots volunteer organization dedicated to trash removal in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and the city's Department of Sanitation to ensure that the city is clean and safe for Carnival.

State lawmakers

spent way too much time bickering over turf battles instead of focusing on genuine reforms in the special legislative session that ended last Friday. In particular, bills to consolidate parochial offices in New Orleans got short shrift — in part because of legislators who have family members in those offices. The people of south Louisiana want real reform, and they want it now. Woe to any politicians who try to protect their turfs when so many have lost so much.