Covington Weekly » December 2014

Monthly Archives: December 2014

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New Years In Downtown Covington – Rock N Blues, Green Room, Southern Hotel

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rockitcsrbnewyearspartyColumbia Street Rock-N-Blues Cafe logoColumbia Street Rock N Blues brings your favorite DJ’s together for one serious New Year’s Dance Party – Hollywood, Dizzi, Kurvy and Killahouse. Reserve the VIP section for a premiere spot to bring in 2015 in style. Food, music and good times at Rock N Blues Café!    www.rocknbluescafe.com

DJ Minor Gets The New Year Started At The Green Room

haveadjminornewyearGreen Room JPEGThe Green Room will be open 2 – 2 every day through the Holidays. Join DJ Minor and friends for a 2015 New Year’s Celebration. Don’t forget great weekly events like Open Mic Night Wednesday and Karaoke Sunday. Live music weekends!   www.greenroomcovla.com

Southern Hotel logoSouthern Hotel Hosts Ticketed Event New Year’s Eve

Ring in the New Year with the Southern Hotel and swing band Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra. Featuring hors d’oeuvres & dessert by Ox Lot 9. Call 844-866-1907 for reservations.

See more New Years events at covingtonweekly.com/events-calendar/

 

Local News

Merry Christmas from Covington Mayor Mike Cooper

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Covington Mayor Mike Cooper

Covington Mayor Mike Cooper

“The holiday season is truly a time for joy and celebration. It is a wonderful time to look back with gratitude, giving thanks for our blessings, and to look forward with hopefulness and enthusiasm. It is an appropriate time for reflection on the events of the past year – rejuvenated by successes and gaining knowledge from our experiences.

We pause with thoughts of others less fortunate, understanding how this festive season may be difficult for many to embrace, and offer our heartfelt prayers. Let us remember it is not in the material gifts we give and receive that measure the true meaning of Christmas, but those in our minds and hearts. Let us commit to dedicating ourselves to our family, our work and our community in the New Year.

I wholeheartedly extend my best wishes to all of you this Christmas and in 2015!”

– Mayor Mike Cooper, City of Covington

Local News

Mayor Announces Covington Street Improvement Project 2014 Completion

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Covington Street Improvement Project 2014

photos courtesy City of Covington

Covington Mayor Mike Cooper stated that the 2014 Local Street Improvement Project was finalized on Friday, December 19 with the widening and asphalt overlay of W. 8th Avenue between S. Tyler Street and S. Jefferson Avenue and E. 10th Avenue between S. Jahncke Avenue and S. New Hampshire Street.

City of Covington Bicentennial logo“We are glad these improvements will be completed before the Christmas holidays. We thank the citizens for their patience during this construction process,” stated Mayor Mike Cooper.

A new task order will be issued in early 2015 for additional street and sidewalk improvements in the City.

Photos courtesy City of Covington, www.covla.com

Local News

CCST Files To Intervene In Fracking Suit – Group To Join Existing Parish Suit If Motion Is Granted

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Concerned Citizens of St. Tammany Parish CCSTPOn December 17, 2014, Concerned Citizens of St. Tammany filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit between St. Tammany Parish and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. Relative cases ask the Court to review St. Tammany Parish zoning laws and DNR’s decisions relative to a Helis Oil & Gas Company proposal to develop the first hydraulic fracturing operation to drill for oil and gas in St. Tammany Parish.

“These lawsuits are very important and address St. Tammany Parish’s ability to exercise fundamental rights granted to it under the Louisiana State Constitution and the Parish’s Home Rule Charter,” said Rick Franzo, President of CCST. Franzo continued, “The Parish government should have a right to control land use and protect St. Tammany residents against the many risks associated with fracking. CCST hopes that the Court grants our request to intervene to actively protect our interests in these precedent-setting matters.”

Learn more: www.ccstp.org. View the full press release here, and CCST’s MTI here.

 

Local News

Local Law Enforcement Spreads Holiday Cheer – CPD, STPSO Extend Helping Hands for the Holidays

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Covington Police Department CPD sealOn Tuesday December 23, the Covington Police Department went throughout the City of Covington handing out 100 dollar bills, thanks to the generous gift of an anonymous donor. www.covla.com

Shop with a Cop - St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office

Shop with a Cop – St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office held its first “Shop With a Cop” event in Slidell Saturday December 20. The event was a tremendous success, and plans are already underway to make it an annual tradition. Sheriff’s Office employees committed to sponsoring approximately 65 children. The children were all referred to the Sheriff’s office by the Youth Service Bureau. “Words cannot express what this meant to these children and our employees,” Sheriff Jack Strain said. www.stpso.com

 

Opinion

St. Tammany’s Own Michigan J. Frog – by Timothy Gates, Correspondent

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Tammany J Frog Read about Michigan J Frog at wiki.org

Tammany J Frog
Read about Michigan J Frog at wiki.org

“…the general heat will die down, except for the loonies.” – Don Shea

This is an excerpt of one of several emails referencing the St. Tammany fracking controversy publicized by the Concerned Citizens of St. Tammany as a result of records requests for official Parish correspondence. The State responded by releasing over 8,000 emails to CCST. Find out more about CCST at www.ccstp.org.

Many remember the popular Looney Toons character, Michigan J. Frog. Michigan breaks out in song and dance for only one man, who, driven by money, tries desperately to get the frog before the public, to no avail.

Meet Tammany J. Frog, Michigan’s Southern cousin. Tammany differs from his Northeast counterpart with his mustache and yat dialect, offering gifts of money. For a while, Tammany J. Frog sang and danced for the parish officials only. Now the public is beginning to see the song and dance, and something seems slightly out of tune.

St. Tammany Director Economic Development Don Shea, when asked by Parish Councilman Jacob Groby at the February 2014 Parish Council Meeting if there were any pending business proposals with regard to the Economic Development Districts, responded, “No sir, we’re quite ahead of the development curve.” (Watch the video at www.stpgov.org) While public discussion of the leaked emails exists, one noticeable discrepancy is unaddressed by the media. The tone and dates of the emails (the emails discussed in this article took place in April and May 2014 – see covingtonweekly.com) suggest a relationship that extends well beyond February 2014.

In a separate April 2014 email between Shea and Parish President Pat Brister, Shea writes that a resolution to ban fracking would hamper their efforts to grow the tax base, “give a very harmful signal to Helis of course,” and disappoint the “already substantial” oil & gas employment sector in STP. Efficiency and industriousness of our parish officials aside, it is difficult to imagine that the Parish Council or the public is expected to believe that Shea was not aware of a hydraulic fracturing project of the magnitude proposed by Helis Oil & Gas in February, a short time before the emails were written.

While the development districts were promoted to the Council as a tool to aid accountability and transparency, the released emails convey a certain degree of contempt for the public and illustrate a need for greater public oversight of Parish activity. After speaking with Mr. Shea on the phone, this writer was referred to Ronnie Simpson, Parish Director of Public Information and Intergovernmental Relations, who was not available for comment.

Timothy Gates may be reached at 985-288-9609 or by email at codexproventus@gmail.com

Referenced emails can be viewed here: Email #1  &  Email #2

For more information, visit www.ccstp.org

Local News

Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office Saves Christmas

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photo: wpso.la.gov

photo: wpso.la.gov

Children throughout Washington Parish can sleep soundly tonight. Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal has arrested the famed Christmas thief, The Grinch.

Grinch, 56, a green male who resides on Mount Crumpit near Whoville, had been hiding in Washington Parish, waiting to steal Christmas trees, ornaments, decorations and presents for parish children.

Sheriff Randy Seal said, “We received a tip from Cindy Lou of Whoville who told us Grinch was heading to our parish. We set up surveillance and were able to spot his dog, Max, who was traveling on the shoulder of Highway 10 between Bogalusa and Franklinton. We secretly placed a microphone on his collar and let him go. Thankfully, he went to Grinch who was hiding in the woods near Highway 62. Grinch tells his dog everything, so we were able to listen in on his plans to ruin Christmas.”

Once investigators had the evidence, they were able to apprehend Grinch after a short foot chase. When told that they had listened while he confessed his plans to his dog, Grinch said, “How could it be so? It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!”

“My hope is that residents of Washington Parish can now relax and have a very Merry Christmas,” said Sheriff Seal as he booked Grinch into the parish jail. Then he turned to the Grinch and said, “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch. You really are a heel.”

Farmers Market Recipes

Farmer’s Market Recipe: Winter Squash Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

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Ingredients:

Cabbage Rolls1/2 cup uncooked brown rice

1 head of cabbage (Faust Farm)

1/2 red pepper, diced

1/2 yellow pepper, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 small onion, diced

2 pounds winter squash (GROW, Father & Son farms)

fresh parsley, chopped

fresh cilantro, chopped

1 1/2 cup tomato sauce

juice from 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon

 

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cook the rice according to package instructions. Saute the onion, garlic, peppers, mushrooms and herbs in a little oil on medium heat. Add the cooked rice and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

For the cabbage, you will want to cut off the leaves from the base at the bottom and use 12 – 15 of the biggest, longest leaves. Place these in a pot of boiling water to soften them. Mix the tomato sauce with the lemon juice. No heat is required for this step.

Once the cabbage leaves are soft enough to work with, strain them and allow them to cool enough to handle. Lay them out flat and scoop a large spoonful of the rice and veggie filling in the middle of each leaf. Fold in the sides and roll them up. Place these rolls in a deep baking dish with a lid, seam down, and smother with the tomato sauce. Cover and bake in the oven for 40 – 45 minutes.

Local Events Shop Local This Week at the Farmer's Market

This Week at the Covington Farmer’s Market by Charlene LeJeune

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Blessings of the season to you, friends. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I know you’re all getting ready for family and friends and lots of great food. Stop by for some of Frankie’s goodies, Earl’s raw honey (makes a great gift) and fresh veggies from Mr. Houston.

Crispin Schroeder will play at the Covington Farmers Market this Saturday

Crispin Schroeder will play at the Covington Farmers Market this Saturday

Saturday will be the last market of 2014. Weren’t we just celebrating the 4th of July?  Come and enjoy a refreshing cup of coffee with us while you shop for the goodies you’ll need for your New Year’s party. Chrispin Schroeder will sing out the old year from the gazebo while Jeff and Kristen get the rig into place to smoke up some amazing pork. Make sure you get extra for sandwiches. Lena and Suzie have wonderful breads to make that sandwich perfect.

Chompers BBQ - food demo this Saturday at the Covington Farmers Market

Chompers BBQ – food demo this Saturday at the Covington Farmers Market

I thought we’d finish out this year with the reason you all come to the Farmers’ Market – the vegetables! A quick perusal of the tables last weekend shows that the veggies are not taking a holiday, so much the better for us. I saw the first beets of the season on John’s table along with turnips, carrots, radishes, chard, spinach, kale, tat soi, bok choi, broccoli and iceberg lettuce (sounds like we may need a little dressing too.)

Beets from Bartlett Farm at the Covington Farmer's Market

Beets from Bartlett Farm at the Covington Farmer’s Market

Dinosaur kale, collards, mustard, chard cabbage, spinach, broccoli, carrots and green onions were loaded onto Mr. Houston’s table and a few feet away Ken Savage offers huge, gorgeous cauliflower, oranges, sweet kumquats, red navel oranges, grapefruit, and satsumas. While you’re over there, check out Spanish R Us. Soriedad is baking a fantastic Tres Leche cake, almost too pretty to eat – almost. She’s making coconut flan too.  Remember to get refried beans and salsas for your party!

Baby Swiss from Grow.Farm at the Covington Farmer's Market

Baby Swiss from Grow.Farm at the Covington Farmer’s Market

Fortunately, Nick still has those fabulous Evangeline sweet potatoes. You’ll also find heirloom turnips, chard, curly mustard, flat leaf kale, and persimmons plus quail eggs. Don’t forget your New Year’s cabbage from Natalie and some strawberries too! Johnadale Farms is back again with their strawberries – we’ve got goodness all around! Dennis has pure cane syrup made from his own sugar cane fields. Stop by and check it out!

Alton and Sandra have some absolutely gorgeous camellia bushes that will not be available for long. Look over their table for the most fragrant herbs for your garden – rosemary, lemon thyme, chocolate mint and more.

We hope you’ll join us for the last market of the year. By next Saturday, a whole new year will have begun along with the hopes and plans that a new year always brings. We wish you peace and prosperity in 2015. Thank you for your patronage, your friendship, and your recipes; we look forward to another year with you.

Lots of love,
Charlene LeJeune
Abundant Life Kitchen

The Covington Farmers’ Market is open each Wednesday, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Covington Trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire and every Saturday from 8a.m. to 12p.m. on the side lawn of the Covington Police Station, 609 N. Columbia St. Call (985) 892-1873 for information or visit www.covingtonfarmersmarket.org

Local Events Local News Shop Local

Craft Fair at Lee Lane Christmas Market This Saturday – Holiday Extravaganza

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Craft Fair flier 12-20-14The Holiday Lee Lane Craft Fair grand finale is this weekend! Featuring local crafts and collectables by vendors such as Metal & Earth Designs, hand-made dolls and other knitwork by LillyPearll, handmade pottery and ceramics by Jodie Flowers, Angelworks! jewelry by MaxAnne, Golden Light 100% beeswax candles, Lorraine Inspired decorated pushpins & magnets,  Fashion Candy custom jewelry, ornaments and more! Grayhawk Perkins gives a live demonstration of traditional Native silver-working practices, and Jay Lotz will demonstrate furniture refurbishing techniques. The St. Tammany Art Association’s Community Outreach Committee is sponsoring a kids arts & crafts table, and the Northlake Performing Arts Society will provide Christmas caroling. Plus, Santa’s coming! Pictures with Santa begin at 3 pm. Come out to downtown Covington for your holiday shopping, and visit the Lee Lane Craft Fair!

The Craft Fair is sponsored by The English Tea Room and is presented in part by Covington Weekly. For more information, call 985-288-9609.

Shop Local

Angels Have Landed at The French Mix for Christmas!

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French Mix AngelsfrenchmixangelstatuesThe French Mix features classic and contemporary home accoutrements, furnishings and exclusive design services by Jennifer DiCerbo. Angels have descended upon the French Mix this Holiday season! Find locally produced art, beeswax candles, gift books and much more. Remember, all original art is tax free in the downtown Cultural Arts District! The French Mix is located on historic Lee Lane in downtown Covington. Like their Facebook page for more information and to view new retail items: The French Mix

www.shopthefrenchmix.com

Shop Local

Southern Charm With A Story at History Antiques & Interiors

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historygiftsHistory Antiques & Interiors offers historic furnishings, porcelains, art work, silver and rugs, as well as contemporary southern designs like Lowcountry Linens’ wine totes and cocktail napkins (left). History Antiques is located on Columbia Street in historic downtown Covington, Louisiana. Like their page on Facebook for regular updates on new items: History Antiques & Interiors

historyantiquesandinteriors.com

historyplate

Local News Opinion

St. Tammany Earns National Recognition: “Entrepreneurial American Community Award 2014”

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stparishawardOn December 11, St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister accompanied a delegation to Washington, DC, to accept the award of Entrepreneurial American Community for 2014, on behalf of all of St. Tammany Parish. The awarding group, Partners for Livable Communities (PLC), each year acknowledges the entrepreneurial spirit of a community and recognizes communities that are innovators and have successfully found unique solutions to local problems.

Among the innovations that made St. Tammany Parish a contender include: our cutting edge Maritime Training Institute in the heart of downtown Covington; the St. Tammany Fishing Pier near Slidell, a testament to perseverance through adversity; and the Community Land Trust, assuring that affordable workforce housing is a permanent and reusable asset here in our community.

“For our Parish to be recognized for our entrepreneurial accomplishments is something that every member of our community can be proud of,” Brister said. “It was very gratifying last week to be cited for this honor among a number of remarkable people and organizations. I want to thank every citizen for their support of local entrepreneurial enterprises throughout our Parish.” Visit www.stpgov.org for more information.

Northshore Housing Initiative (NHI) is a community land trust, an organization committed to the permanent stewardship of land and the long-term affordability of workforce housing. Using a shared equity model, NHI helps moderate-income homebuyers purchase a home by investing in the land. The land is leased to the homebuyer by the trust with a long-term lease that includes a resale formula to ensure affordability is preserved for the next buyer. Board members of NHI include St. Tammany Parish Planning Director Sidney Fontenot and Director of Economic Development Donald Shea. Other board members include Maureen Clary, G.M. Benson Tower; and Edward Bee, President of Taimerica, a management company offering solutions for energy-related economic development. Learn more at www.northshorelandtrust.org

Timothy Gates, Correspondent, Covington Weekly
covweekly@media9productions.com

Local Events Local News

There’s Nothing Like a Home for the Holidays – Pet Adoption Event

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Pet Adoptions for the HolidaysThe St. Tammany Parish Animal Services (STPAS) is hosting an adoption special thru December 23rd of $10 pet adoption with a four week training program. STPAS is open Monday thru Saturday from 8 am – 4 pm at 31078 Hwy 36 in Lacombe. For more information call 985-809-0183.

www.stpgov.org/departments/animals

Shop Local

Holiday Pet Groomings at The Scrubby Puppy, In Good Dog Naturally

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Scrubby PuppyGood Dog Naturally & the Scrubby Puppy are located at 1027 Village Walk, just off of North Lee Lane, specializing in quality, natural pet foods and grooming services with a self dog wash. Scrubby Puppy offers full grooming services for dogs and cats by appointment. Animals are never mass crated or cage dried; the goal is to provide a stress free grooming experience for your pet and you!

Visit www.gooddognaturally.net for a full list of grooming services. Scrubby Puppy even offers a do-it-yourself dog wash. Good Dog Naturally is committed to providing the best and safest products available for your pet, and local producers are sourced when available. Find local favorites Tiger Bait Raw Foods and Treats at Good Dog Naturally. Other high quality feed lines include Stella & Chewies, Merrick and much more.

Scrubby Puppy Good Dog Naturally

Healthy Living Shop Local

Our Place Studio Offers Holiday Specials & Wellness Gift Cards!

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OP Holiday flier 12-17-14Give the gift of health this holiday season! Our Place Studio is offering an abundance of wellness specials this year, such as an Introductory Month Special including the unlimited small group training and classes of a regular membership for only $65, usually $75 (for first time clients only). Or pick up a package of three 60 minute massage sessions for $165 (a savings of $30) and a One Hour Facial at $55 for a savings of $10. Express Manicures & Pedicures are available at $40 for a 50 minute service, or try a Complete Paraffin Package (including hands, elbows, knees and feet) for the same price. Want to start a new diet and exercise plan for the new year? Have a Nutritional Balancing 90 minute consultation, complete with a customized nutritional program for $125, regularly $150. All specials will be available at Our Place Studio in downtown Covington and can be given as gift cards, good through January 31st, 2015.

985.875.1182         338 N. Vermont Street, downtown Covington, LA

Learn more at: opcovington.com

Local News

LHSC: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over This Holiday Season

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Beer bottlesBATON ROUGE – Louisiana law enforcement agencies are joining forces Dec. 12 – Jan. 1 to combat the high number of drunk-driving-related crashes in the weeks leading up to the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

December was one of the deadliest months on Louisiana roadways in 2013, with 55 fatal crashes and 59 persons killed, according to preliminary figures. During the four days comprising the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, at least 11 people were killed and 400 injured in Louisiana highway crashes. Alcohol use was a factor in more than half of the fatalities.

drivesoberThe Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is a state and national campaign aimed at keeping impaired drivers off of the roadways and reducing deadly crashes. The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission is coordinating the statewide campaign by providing grants to local law enforcement agencies and the Louisiana State Police to fund overtime patrols and checkpoints.

“Getting arrested for DWI – or worse, causing a tragic accident – is not a Christmas memory you would ever want. If you’re drinking, don’t drive. Besides the risk of a crash, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over means there will be a greater police presence and a much higher chance that you’ll get caught,” said Lt. Col. John LeBlanc, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.

“When innocent lives are lost because of an impaired driver, it’s devastating, especially around the holidays. State Troopers, along with our partners in local law enforcement, will work tirelessly throughout the Christmas and New Year’s holidays to keep Louisiana motorists safe. If you plan on drinking this holiday season, please have a plan and make good decisions. ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ is more than a slogan,” said Colonel Mike Edmonson, Louisiana State Police Superintendent.

Last year in Louisiana, police made 21,680 DWI arrests. Alcohol was a factor in 42 percent of Louisiana fatal crashes in 2013, with young males at particular risk. Although it is illegal for anyone under 21 to consume alcohol in Louisiana, the alcohol-related crash rate for 18-to-20-year-old drivers in 2013 was about twice the average of drivers of all groups. The same was true for drivers killed in alcohol-related crashes.

Louisiana Highway Safety Commission LHSCwww.lahighwaysafety.org