If things go as planned you will soon be seeing more news from the Lacombe area in the pages of Tammany West.
Thanks to the work of business leaders in the community a new organization has formed named Small Businesses of Lacombe. Heading the effort is Lacombe Family Pharmacy owner Tony Bondi who contacted me about partnering with our Tammany West paper to have pages devoted to Lacombe news that will also tell the public about a lot of excellent businesses in that area of the parish.
If you have a small business in the Lacombe area you are invited to attend a special meeting this Thursday, March 9 at 7 p.m. at Bayou Adventure, at 27725 Main St. in Lacombe, where Tony and others will be discussing the new plan. I also plan to attend to answer questions about how Tammany West will partner with the businesses there to promote a little of everything in the community.
I love the idea of the promotion, something we are naming “Best of Lacombe,” since it is a win-win situation for the businesses, the paper and the community. It’s a simple matter of supporting each other. As more businesses agree to run advertising in Tammany West, we will be in a position to distribute more papers in that area, and produce more news in the paper about what is going on there—all while continuing the usual coverage of Mandeville, Covington, Madisonville or Abita Springs.
Since my family brought The Slidell Independent and Tammany West back to the east and west sides of St. Tammany Parish eight years ago the papers have been very well received. Residents here tell me a lot that they are appreciative of having a truly local paper back.
But, of course, the paper needs businesses to run advertising or there won’t be a local paper for long. I appreciate the fact Tony and others in Lacombe see how that works and are willing to create this partnership with us that will benefit both sides.
Thanks to Tony and others in Lacombe for reaching out to start this new endeavor. I think the people in that area of the parish are going to like the new product a lot, and you can be sure we will do all we can to promote and support those businesses who join the effort.
Hope to see you Thursday night for the meeting.
Let’s face it, we live in a pretty special place here in St. Tammany Parish.
One interview I did several months ago brought about a comment from a local public official that I hadn’t thought much about before. She reminded me that for those who have lived in St. Tammany Parish a long time it is easy to forget how absolutely great we have it here.
And think about it—we really do have it pretty nice.
We get to enjoy the suburban lifestyle while still being close to the big city action of New Orleans or the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We have great law enforcement and super low crime, some of the best public and private schools in the state, and perhaps more than anything, St. Tammany Parish has slowly cultivated a population of people who—mostly—are willing to go the extra mile to create this fantastic lifestyle we enjoy.
That has been clear for the past 20 years when the public has steadily approved millages related to law enforcement, street lighting, improved roads and infrastructure, schools, community centers and more. Not only do residents here support what we have, but they have been willing to reach into their wallets and pocket books to pay for it. You also see that with the many fundraising events that continually have great support.
Especially in this day and age of tighter governmental budgets we know that nothing comes for free, but if you want the extra things you have to pay for them. The Children’s Museum of St. Tammany, part of the bigger Performing Arts District that is now on the drawing board, is certainly one of those “special” things.
This Sunday, March 12 at the Castine Center in Mandeville will be the annual installment of “Celebration,” the name created for the big event the Children’s Museum hosts each year to keep the public aware of the progress being made—and the time to continue raising funds for this incredible center that will one day be located in the Performing Arts District, just off I-12 on the banks of the Tchefuncta River in Covington.
I have gotten to know Children’s Museum President Lisa Barnett as we do at least one in-depth interview a year to update the progress for the museum, and of course, the plans, design and fundraising efforts. Currently the projection is for the Children’s Museum to cost somewhere in the $10 million range so, needless to say, it is one of those things St. Tammany residents will be asked to support.
If you wonder how much backing there actually is in the corporate, business and individual world of St. Tammany Parish you only need to attend the Celebration event one year. It is always a packed Castine Center crowd, clearly showing how many people in this parish want those “special” things.
I, for one, am looking forward to the day the Children’s Museum opens in the parish. It will be a wonderful place for our kids and grandkids and something that will add to the quality of life that has given us our “special” parish.
For more information on the Children’s Museum, and ways to show your support, go online to cmstkids.org.
(Kevin Chiri can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)