Archive for the ‘Around The Web’ Category

Tips to Stay Organized: Going Back to the Basics

Technology is everywhere. We use it constantly throughout every hour of each day. While it has made our lives easier and more convenient, is it better than a time when we didn’t rely on it so much? Most would agree that yes, it is better, and in many instances that may be true, but in some cases it seems that going back to the basics can be more effective.

A recent article from the American Express Open Forum expresses such an instance. According to the article, “Pen and Paper: Killer Productivity Apps,” studies show that hand-writing notes on paper helps with memory skills and can heighten brain activity. Physically writing things down actually helps us to remember things.

So how can this relate to the construction industry?

To be honest, these tips can be helpful in any industry. If you want to remember something, don’t simply store it in your smartphone or tablet. With the amount of apps and distractions that these devices can hold, your priorities can get cluttered. For contractors and construction workers, project checklists and dates involving project deadlines and lien deadlines are extremely important details that need to be remembered. Write these important notes and dates down, and save them somewhere in which you can be constantly reminded. Simply saving them in technological devices will not always suffice and can easily get overlooked. If deadlines aren’t met or checklists aren’t completed, numerous problems can arise. Stay organized, and write things down to help remember!

For those who must use technology like myself, there are programs like Evernote which allow for storage of all notes and even allow for writing on tablet devices. Evernote is great and I highly recommend and its Evernote Trunk list out all compatible apps where you can find writing applications.

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Slow Moving Hurricane Isaac

As Hurricane Isaac plowed into South Louisiana it decided that it wanted to hang around for a while. Currently the center is just above Baton Rouge, La and has been moving at 6mph all day. Essentially the City of New Orleans has been dealing with 40mph + sustained winds for the past twenty-four hours. The rainfall is now the biggest factor because the large amounts have no where to go, therefore flooding is an issue. Weather Channel recently reported over 20″ of rainfall in Audubon Park located in Uptown New Orleans.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s capitol city, is being hit hard with wind and rain. The majority of Louisiana’s population lives in the I-10 / I-12 corridor. These are the areas that have taken on Isaac with full force. Plaquemines Parish has probably the worst damage thus far where waters of the storm surge rose above the levees. Other hard hit Parishes of Louisiana include, Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, St. John, St. Charles, Ascension, Livingston and East Baton Rouge. Residents of these Parishes will be out of the weather soon but the trouble will continue with the clean up and lack of power. Entergy has its work cut out when it commences restoring power to the millions living in the area.

Thursday and Friday, will be days of cleanup and restoring life back to normal. Assessment of damages will be critical to a swift and full recovery. More to come from

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Around the Web: New Orleans Receives $40 million FEMA Grant

Guest Post: Sarah Smith – legal assistant at Wolfe Law Group, LLC.

It’s been seven years since devastating Hurricane Katrina destructed the City of New Orleans, and in that time the city has joined together to move forward in a positive direction to help rebuild the historical attraction. The pride and persistence of the residents have kept the city alive, and their determination has not gone unnoticed. FEMA has granted New Orleans $40 million to continue its transformation to a restored city. The grant has been allocated towards roadways in New Orleans and surrounding areas, New Orleans Museum of Art, LSPCA, Youth City Center, LSU Health Sciences Center, and LSU School of Dentistry. The bulk of the grant will go towards the Morris F.X. Jeff Municipal Auditorium in which significant damage to the electrical and mechanical systems, floors, walls, and seats will be repaired.  This city has proven to stay confident and resilient through difficult times, and such a grant will add to the city’s positive focus. If you would like to find more information about the breakdown of allocations, check out’s article.

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Around The Web: Housing Bubble On The Rise Again?

Back in 2008, along with major sections of the U.S. economy, the U.S. housing market tanked. This was a terrible time for home builders and most contractors in the industry. There was a ripple effect that was felt industry wide. Signs of the the rebound have been few and far between. We are now one quarter deep into 2012 and there are a few positive signs that the end of the drought may be near.

Just last week CNN reported very good numbers for building permits nation wide. According to the article, new home building permits are up from month to month and a large amount from this time last year. There is also an increase in the number of new apartment / condo permits that are being requested nationwide. The article stated that major contractors and home suppliers are seeing increases in stock value and revenue stream.  Some sites like published a Reuters article stating that there is a “housing comeback.”

A wide range of cities nation wide are reporting similar findings, such as Portland, Oregon and Dayton, Ohio. If this trend keeps up there is a good chance that the housing market will rebound and home sales will start to improve.

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New Orleans Business Market Receives National Acclaim

Over the weekend a good friend living in New York City, sent me a link to a Wall Street Journal article which outlines what all of us here in New Orleans have been seeing over the past few years, new exciting business growth. The article by Douglas McCollam, talks about the success of the non-profit Idea Village which was started in NOLA a decade ago.

The most telling aspect of McCollam’s piece is how he sees, and how it is apparent to New Orleans residents, that the attitude and culture of business has changed. Hurricane Katrina helped to rid the city of the negative attitude and filled it with a group of forward thinking resilient entrepreneurs who want to make a difference, while at the same time making a dollar.

One of the more colorful excerpts from McCollam’s article addresses the problem with the former attitude of the city,

“We had found the root of the problem.” It’s a problem that New Orleans seems to have overcome in the years since Hurricane Katrina—so much so that Mr. Williamson can now afford a little levity.

Other positive organizations that are helping to aid in business growth and entrepreneurial spirit include the New Orleans Startup Fund. This all ties into because, NOLA startup fund recently picked as one of its featured start up companies to help grow and become a successful New Orleans and nation-wide company. was founded by Wolfe Law Group founder, Scott G. Wolfe, Jr. Scott is the embodiment of the Wall Street Journal article and the national focus on our great city.

The winds of change are among us here in New Orleans and its a great time to live in this city. McCollum points out that Forbes and have recently coined New Orleans as a harbor for business growth and young talent. Only time will tell how this will change this city, but it will be a fun ride nonetheless.

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