BOXES 05-30-06

BOUQUET YMCA and New Orleans Public Library are joining forces to provide critically needed adult-literacy services through a program called the ÒYMCA Learning Center @ the New Orleans Public Library.Ó The joint effort replaces separate adult learning centers operated by the two agencies, all of which were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The new program, based in the Main Library, will offer New OrleansÕ only place for adults to get help with basic literacy skills. For more information, call 596-3842.

BOUQUET Travelocity has established a shopping and booking engine at in conjunction with the state Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. Travelocity also has signed multi-year agreements to power online travel and shopping for the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Commission and the convention and visitors bureaus in Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Shreveport. This is the first time Travelocity has simultaneously entered into such agreements with a statewide group of destination marketing organizations.

BOUQUET The Aquarium of the Americas reopened over the weekend for the first time since Hurricane Katrina, thanks to months of hard work by the AquariumÕs staff and administrators. The storm knocked out power and killed many Aquarium fish and animals, although some others Ñ including penguins and sea otters Ñ survived thanks to heroics of the staff during and after Katrina. The Aquarium reopened with new ÒresidentsÓ that were captured in the wild, purchased or donated by other major aquariums across the country.

BRICKBAT-BRICKBAT-BRICKBAT Glenn Haydel, an uncle of former Mayor Marc Morial, admitted in federal court last week that he bilked the Regional Transit Authority out of $550,000 under a controversial contract awarded to his firm during his nephewÕs tenure. Haydel also admitted writing memos to the RTA in which he falsely claimed to have spent at least some of the money on legitimate agency projects Ñ and to lying under oath in a 2004 civil deposition. He is now cooperating with federal investigators in an ongoing probe of RTA dealings.