LSPCA receives grant from FEMA
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is getting in the animal shelter business. FEMA recently awarded $8 million to the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to help rebuild the nonprofit’s animal control facility.
The LSPCA building was damaged during Hurricane Katrina, and officials are looking to relocate the facility to higher ground. FEMA approved the location change from the original building on Japonica Street to 1700 Mardi Gras Boulevard, saying, “Our recent grant approves this request [to relocate], supporting not only their recovery efforts, but preparedness efforts as well.”
FEMA’s Public Assistance Program approved the new building, designating it an improved project. Because of this designation, the new facility will have different dimensions than the previous animal control facility. This grant is just the latest award given by FEMA to assist efforts to recover from Katrina. To date, Louisiana has received approximately $1.3 billion in public assistance from the agency whose purpose is to prepare for and respond to disasters of all kinds.
The money will be allocated to the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness which will dole out the funds as work is completed.
Hurricane season arrives; insurers brace for damaging storms
The beginning of June marks not only the start of summer, but the start of hurricane season as well. June 1 is the traditional beginning of storm season for states on the Atlantic seaboard and the Caribbean, and the season runs through summer and early fall.
Researchers at Colorado State University are forecasting a below-average season for major storms, evidenced by lower surface temperatures in the Atlantic. Storms are unpredictable, though, and the reduced likelihood of major climactic event does not mean there will be none. There are a number variables that play into determining the damage of storms, noted forecasters at CSU, including changes in climate, and where a storm makes landfall.
Insurers are hoping the CSU forecasts prove true. After major events in 2011, the insurance sector experienced increased volatility as a result of the loss of capital due to the events. A calm hurricane season would be welcome news to the industry, and should result in an uptick in earnings.
New Orleans hotels earn awards
Five New Orleans hotels received Certificates of Excellence from the travel website TripAdvisor. Bourbon Orleans Hotel, Dauphine Orleans Hotel, Hotel Mazarin, Crowne Plaza New Orleans Airport, and Hotel Le Marais were all recognized by the website for outstanding hospitality.
The award is given to less than 10 percent of hotels listed on TripAdvisor, and recognizes those hotels that average four out of five stars according to feedback from users of the website. Craig Hulford, managing director of the New Orleans Hotel Collection to which all five hotels belong, said, “These accolades are evidence that our diligence is translating into positive guest reviews on TripAdvisor and elsewhere.”
Gulf Coast Restoration Summit set for June 11
The Gulf Coast Restoration Summit is scheduled for an all-day event on Monday, June 11, 2012, in Destin, FL. The summit is intended to give the latest information on recovery efforts and available money resulting from the BP oil spill that affected the Gulf Coast in 2010.
Organizers have lined up a slate of speakers and attendees that include representatives from every level of government as well as business and community leaders. The discussion will center on when funds will become available from the settlement with BP, restoration projects, and the RESTORE Act, and will also look at ways to best utilize those funds to help restore the Gulf Coast. There will be general sessions in the morning and afternoon with guest speakers and a VIP reception.
Information regarding registration can be found at www.gulfcoastrestorationsummit.org.
Applications being accepted for community grants
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation is continuing its mission of preserving the unique culture of Louisiana by offering Community Partnership Grants. Applications are being accepted for four grants. There two grants available for education programs, one for the study and documentation of indigenous culture of Louisiana, and one for nonprofits that present cultural events.
For more information visit www.jazzandheritage.org.
Bronze Quill awards celebrate area’s best communicators
The Bronze Quill Soiree is set for June 5, 2012. The event centers around the organization’s awards program that recognizes the Communicator of the Year and the Business of the Year.
The Bronze Quill awards are handed out annually by the International Association of Business Communicators, an organization that boasts 15,000 members in 80 countries. This year’s event will be held in the Salons de Bonnes Fetes Room at the Maison St. Charles Hotel starting at 6:00 p.m. The guest speaker this year will be Carroll Morton, the Deputy Director of Film New Orleans which is part of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Economy.