Friday, 14 January 2011 16:30
Louisiana Business: French Quarter Fest, Storm Shear, Lundi Gras, Farm Aid
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Greater New Orleans Area, StormShear, Ok’d For Florida

Today, Greater New Orleans, Inc. and Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) announced that Ballista Storm Systems, LLC has completed the arduous Test Application Standard (TAS) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) testing processes and received product approval from the Florida Building Commission. The approval means that Ballista's groundbreaking product, the StormShear™, is now approved for use throughout Florida, including Miami-Dade and Broward counties. This zone of Florida utilizes the world's most stringent construction regulations and standards, exceeding the widely adopted International Building Code (IBC).


Ballista is now poised for rapid growth, as evidenced by the fact that The Neff Group--a premier construction materials sales firm--immediately picked up Ballista's StormShear™ product line.

"Ballista Storm Systems' success demonstrates our region's ability to develop and export disaster management technologies," said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of GNO, Inc. "We are positioning Greater New Orleans as a global hub for sustainable industries, including disaster management. Ballista Storm Systems is at the leading edge of this strategy. We congratulate Charles Zimmer and the entire Ballista team."

Ballista Storm Systems began operations in Jefferson Parish in March 2010, employing numerous regional firms as consultants in engineering, manufacturing, marketing, distributing, and capitalization. With this critical approval in hand, Ballista looks to expand its operations over the next year.

Hurricane Recovery Legislative Hearing

The Louisiana Legislature's Select Committee on Hurricane Recovery will hold a public hearing in New Orleans, Tuesday, January 25th, in the New Orleans City Council Chambers, 1300 Perdido Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70211, beginning at 5 p.m.

          During the meeting the Office of Community Development will provide a report on the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, including details on the FEMA funded program and the CDBG funded program for Individual Mitigation Measures. The OCD will also provide a status on the closeout of the Road Home Homeowner Program and an update on program compliance and monitoring activities..  Information will also be provided on the Piggyback program, particularly with regard to the one year extension of the placed in service deadline to the end of 2011. There will be an update on terms of the agreement with the City of New Orleans Code Enforcement Office regarding persons in hurricane recovery programs, and an update on closing activity in the New Orleans Clerk's office.


Lundi Gras


Today, Riverwalk Marketplace announces the entertainment for the 25th annual Lundi Gras at Spanish Plaza with Rex, King of Carnival, on Monday, March 7, 2011 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. The free celebration will again include fireworks on the Mississippi River and musical entertainment.


The 2011 Lundi Gras entertainment schedule is as follows:


3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.     John “Papa” Gros & the Krewe du Karnival

4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.     Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers

6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.     Arrival of Rex, King of Carnival & Fireworks Show

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.     The Topcats


“Riverwalk is thrilled to again host this event for our community and share our excitement in celebrating the event’s 25th year,” said Lauren Wakeman, Riverwalk Marketplace marketing manager. “A 25th anniversary Lundi Gras celebration in downtown New Orleans deserves special entertainment and this year’s musicians performing at Riverwalk’s Spanish Plaza will definitely make it a memorable event for our local and visiting revelers.”


"The Rex Organization is very pleased to help continue the time-honored tradition of having Rex, King of Carnival greet the Mayor of New Orleans, citizens, tourists and visiting foreign dignitaries as the city transforms into the "Carnival Realm" we call Mardi Gras," said Christian Brown, a Rex Official. "We also want to thank Riverwalk and Mr. Errol Laborde, as well as the United States Coast Guard and the Port of New Orleans for their efforts to produce an event that for 25 years has provided a fitting way to usher in this historic celebration."


Farm Assistance Deadline

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said Louisiana producers have until Feb. 28 to apply for Noninsured Assistance Program (NAP) coverage for spring and summer seeded crops such as vegetables and grass for pasture and hay.

Strain said NAP provides protection from catastrophic natural disasters up to 50 percent of an established yield and 55 percent of an established price.

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