|«||May 2013||» |
Welcome to GNOInfo.com
New and Notable
504Ward aims to encourage young people to stay in New Orleans and work to improve it.
The 504Ward website features resources, events, and opportunities for young entrepreneurs in the city.
Metropolitan Crime Commission
The Metropolitan Crime Commission is a citizen's commission that aims to expose and eliminate public corruption, reduce the incidence of crime, and improve the administration of justice in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
Visit the website for reports and recommendations on crime, safety, and the criminal justice system.
NOVAC and the Digital Filmmaking Institute
The New Orleans Video Access Center's Digital Filmmaking Institute offers a variety of inexpensive media-making workshops and services for adults and teens.
NOVAC also offers a one-week filmmaking camp for teens, with a limited scholarship fund for teens unable to pay the $300 tuition. For more information, visit the website or call 504-940-5780.
Grow Dat Youth Farm
Grow Dat Youth Farm works to nurture a diverse group of young leaders through farming in a section of City Park.
The farm works to produce healthy food for local residents and to inspire youth and adults to create personal, social and environmental change in their own communities. Grow Dat works to support public health, the local economy and a sustainable food system in South Louisiana.
RTA Interactive Route Map
The RTA has several tools to help make better use of the transit system.
This includes trip planning, schedules and Google Maps integrated route maps.
WorkNOLA is a website that features jobs in the New Orleans area.
EPNO (Emerging Philanthropists of New Orleans)
EPNO is a giving circle that aims to engage young professionals in philanthropy and to increase the impact that these individuals can have by pooling their resources in a grant-making process for local nonprofit organizations.
Each participant pledges $500 of his/her own money, and then has that matched by an employer, an outside funder, friends/family, etc. So, each person has $1000 to pool in a focus group (usually about 8-9 people per group) to then dole out the sum ($8000 – $9000) to selected grant applicants.
School Readiness Tax Credit
The SRTC business tax credit for Louisiana businesses is pretty straightforward.
A business can donate up to $5,000 to a CCR&R and get 100% of their money back on the Louisiana income taxes. Upon receipt of the donation, we send them a letter and a receipt.
When the business files their income taxed with the Louisiana Department of Revenue, they will claim the credit and attach the receipt as documentation. Because it’s a refundable tax credit, if the business owes less than the amount of their donation, the state will actually write them a check.
So, if a business donated $5,000 but only owed $4,000 in taxes, the state will mail them a $1,000 check. The refundable credit can be taken against individual income tax, corporation income tax, or corporation franchise tax depending on the business’s entity type.
The Louisiana Department of Revenue also offers some additional information, including links to the relevant laws, on their web site: http://www.revenue.louisiana.gov/sections/individual/school_readiness.aspx#taxcred5. It’s the very last tax credit mentioned on the page.
The Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants recently highlighted the program in their newsletter in an article available at http://www.lcpa.org/lagniappe_Oct12_schoolreadiness.html.
New Orleans Children's Advocacy Center (NOCAC)
The Children's Advocacy is a child friendly place that provides a coordinated, multi-agency approach to the investigation and treatment of child sexual and physical abuse.
The NOCAC is a 501(c)3 non-profit program of Children’s Hospital New Orleans dedicated to serving victims of child physical and sexual abuse and ending child abuse in our community. NOCAC is co-located within the Audrey Hepburn CARE Center in a cottage adjacent to Audubon Park
EO Accelerator New Orleans
Accelerator is a national program of Entrepreneur's Organization (EO) to help businesses grow from $250,000 in revenue to over $1,000,000.
It features group mentoring, accountability and great programming and contact generation. The New Orleans chapter is the oldest and has the most graduates of any Accelerator chapter in the country.
Early Childhood and Family Learning Foundation
The Early Childhood and Family Learning Foundation promotes the Whole Child Comprehensive Health Program in 5 Central City schools and 5 Day cares.
They assess all the children in the schools for vision, dental, hearing, BP, obesity and other indicators to identify children with physical, mental or social health factors that are obstacles to their learning. A professional health team then establishes a treatment plan that the school faculty and the health team monitor for completion.
Already, after 3 years, our program has assessed and provided services to over 4,000 children and have given critical help to over 150 children that has turned their school performance around, raised the schools’ LEAP scores and put them on track for a successful life.
Orleans Parish Charter School Close-Ups
This online listings, put together by the Lens, features profiles of all New Orleans public, charter, and Recovery School District schools.
The information includes test scores, extracurricular activities, admission criteria, and neighborhood and school demographics to help parents choose the best schools for their children.
Louisiana Department of Economic Development: Resources for Businesses
Louisiana Economic Development is the official economic development agency to connect Louisiana businesses with the resources they need and to foster growth across all industries.
The LED site features small businesses resources including financial assistance, FAQs, relocation assistance, and links to business counseling centers and small business development centers.
The "New" Soft Second Mortgage Program
The new version of the Nagin Administration's Soft Second program allows developers to use the program to rebuild blighted or empty lots where otherwise the financing doesn't make sense.
Court Watch NOLA
Court Watch NOLA's mission is to monitor each part of the Justice System to ensure transparency and accountability at every level.
Court Watch volunteers attend court hearings and trials in all sections of Orleans Parish Criminal District Court and monitor the progress of cases as they proceed through the courts from arraignment through sentencing. To volunteer, visit the website.
Court Watch NOLA is supported by The New Orleans Crime Fighting Coalition.
Blighted Property Search
BlightStatus is an on-line system that allows citizens to see what the City is doing about blighted properties in New Orleans.
Common Contractor Problems
Read this list of the most common contractor scams to protect yourself from contractor fraud.
You need to think carefully about working with a contractor if he or she...
Be sure to follow best hiring practices listed here.
- Doesn't provide a local address or local telephone number- do not hire someone who only supplies a cell phone number.
- Uses a P.O. Box for an address. And some fraudulent contractors give fake addresses of places that don't exist or are actually storm damaged properties. Confirm that the address they cite is legitimate by driving to their office.
- Has a company with a religious or military name like "Jesus Saves Construction," "Marine Construction," or "Honest Joe's Landscapers". These names are often a cover-up. It doesn't necessarily mean they’re trustworthy - in fact, it usually means the opposite.
- Has a ‘doctored’ license. In one case cited by a State Contractor Licensing Board investigator, a man took a real license and forged his name on it. Always look at the contractor’s license (its best to get a copy) and make note of the license number. Make sure that the contractor is the owner of that license and that he is registered in your parish by confirming with the State Contractor Licensing Board. See a sample license here.
- Has only an occupational license. An occupational license is required for all business owners for the purpose of paying taxes. Make sure your contractor has a State Residential Building License if the job is more than $7500.
- Solicits door-to-door. Legitimate (and busy) contractors do not have time to solicit door-to-door.
- Just happens to have left-over materials from previous jobs.
- Will give you a discount for recommending other customers.
- Demands that you pay in cash or for the job upfront. Never pay in cash. Make sure you pay with a check or credit card which can serve as a record of payment.
- Takes more for a down payment than is reasonable, claiming to need instant cash for supplies and to pay workers. A down payment shouldn’t exceed 10% or $1,000, whichever is less, or reasonable to the size of the project.
- Tries to pressure you into signing a contract you haven’t read or that has blank spaces.
- Asks you to get the construction permits. It’s the contractor’s responsibility to file for building permits.
- Asks you to use your home as security for a home improvement loan or borrow money from a lender the contractor knows. If you do not pay the loan or miss a payment, the lender can take your home and sell it.
- Uses high pressure sales tactics to scare and intimidate you into making an immediate decision about work. Get a competitive bid, check license and registration and get references from customers you can call to discuss their work with.
- Claims that your job will be a “demonstration.”
- Offers to perform a free inspection then claims that faulty wiring, bad plumbing, or a leaky roof is putting the homeowner in danger in an attempt to scare the homeowner into agreeing to unnecessary, over-priced work. Always get at least three bids/inspections.
- States that a written contract is unnecessary, promising to deliver on the verbal agreement. The shady contractor then takes advantage of the situation to perform shoddy work or none at all.
New Orleans Code Enforcement
The Code Enforcement Department is in charge of hearings, fines and other property-maintenance issues throughout the city.
The Deepwater Horizon Economic Claims Center
The Deepwater Horizon Economic Claims Center, or DHECC, is the new program that replaces the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) that closed up in early 2012.
This new program is expected to offer better settlement terms to claimants and an accelerated payment process.
NOPD Crime Maps
An updated system that allows for much finer grained views.
This is a calls for service based system which means that it's data is provisional and may be changed based on whether a police report is filed and what eventually is determined to be the actual incident.
NOLA Green Roots
NOLA Green Roots facilitates garden training for hundreds of participants.
By developing community gardens, we teach youth, low-income residents, and senior citizens how to grow fresh fruits and vegetables at a low cost.
NOLA Food and Farm Exchange (FFEx)
We know that there’s a bunch of you that are growing a lot.
Often you grow more than you can eat or give to friends & family. The NOLA FFEx gives you a way to move your bounty, extra compostable material, soil, tools, services, available land, etc. that you can get something in return — money, a portion of someone else’s bounty, a much needed tool, services, etc. Listings are free.
LouisianaRebuilds.info Contractor Rating System
Find and rate contractors working locally and help our community rebuild by getting the word out about good and bad contractors. Use our Contractor Rating System (with over 500 local listings and ratings) to rate a contractor you've used or search for contractor reviews before you hire.