The SWLA Music School has moved into a large new studio space at 343 Broad St., between Mama Reta’s and Panorama Music House.
The Music School will be housed in the back section of the building. All the music students will come and go through the back door. The large parking lot behind Panorama Music House should make pickup and drop off easy. If you’re looking for the back of the Music School space, find two red doors and use the one on the right with a keypad. The code is the same as at the old studio.
The school is now having in person lessons at the new studio space. Everyone will proceed cautiously and maintain social distancing. If you or someone in your family is not well, let the staff know and they’ll arrange a remote lesson that week.
There will be rehearsals for all the bands the school had in the spring.
For the time being, there will be no waiting room for clients. The school is asking parents or other adults to drop off students and then wait in the car.
All students, staff and parents will be required to wear a mask when inside the building, during lessons and during rehearsals. If a student was participating in Young Band Nation and transitioned to a Zoom lesson because of COVID, they can go back to the rehearsal at the usual rate, or go to the rehearsal and keep the Zoom lesson for an extra $80 a month.
As students crank back up with rehearsals, they will be relearning all the tunes of the bands they were in.
Times for rehearsals will be staggered so that the staff has time to wipe down and sanitize the rooms. Singers are encouraged to bring their own microphones. If they don’t have a microphone, they could also bring their own windscreen (see sweetwater.com/store/detail/ASWS58C9–on-stage-stands-asws58c9-windscreen-9-pack-multicolor).
Times of rehearsals may be adjusted slightly to accommodate all the new measures. If you need more info, visit swlamusicschool.com.
Right now, the school anticipates having gigs on July 25 and Aug. 8. Details will follow.
Ilera Center Starts Selling Medical Marijuana Products To Pharmacies Statewide
Ilera Holistic Healthcare in Baton Rouge is now selling products from its first medical marijuana harvest to pharmacies across the state.
Ilera holds the contract to grow medical marijuana for Southern University in Baton Rouge. It has now harvested 2,300 plants. The medical marijuana products have passed state tests conducted by the Dept. of Forestry and Agriculture.
“We have orders going out daily,” said Chanda Macias, CEO of Ilera Holistic Healthcare.
The medical marijuana brand of Ilera is called Ayo, which means “joy” in a Nigerian dialect. Ilera has six different tinctures that range from 300 to 600 mg. There is also a marijuana and hemp-derived blend in tinctures with strengths of 150 mg and 300 mg.
Ilera expects to open a large growing facility on Plank Road in Baton Rouge that would hold “tens of thousands” of medical marijuana plants. It’s said the facility is almost complete. When it’s finished, Ilera thinks, it will produce enough medical marijuana for 1 to 3 percent of the state population.
Just like LSU, Southern University had had state approval for its medical marijuana program for several years. LSU’s program started producing and distributing products last year. In late 2018, Ilera bought the majority stake in the first company selected by Southern to run its program.
By the end of the third quarter, Ilera expects to roll out medical marijuana tincture formulas for children or minors with autism. This project will be known as Hope. It will be based around chewable gelatin-based medicine and concentrated extracts.
The wholesale prices of the products have not been disclosed. Some products would probably cost less than $100. But the final prices will depend on the pharmacies. “I made sure we had price reductions across the board,” said Macias.
Southern University says it is the country’s only historically Black college and university to have a medical marijuana and CBD-derived program. The university plans to use money from the sale of the products to hire more scientists to begin research into the active ingredients in marijuana. The researchers are expected to develop new varieties of marijuana with varying concentrations of cannabidiol, the active ingredient in marijuana that treats pain, insomnia and anxiety.
Access to medical marijuana usage in Louisiana was recently broadened to cover any debilitating condition that a doctor licensed in the state deems worthy of treatment with medical marijuana. Medical marijuana was previously available only to patients with qualifying conditions who were able to get recommendations from a select pool of doctors.
Love Our Veterans Everyday
The Louisiana Dept. of Veterans Affairs Secretary Col. Joey Strickland recently launched Project LOVE, which stands for Love Our Veterans Everyday. It’s an initiative to support veterans, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Col. Strickland is asking Louisianans to write letters to the more than 600 veterans who live in Louisiana’s five state-run veterans homes.
“Our veterans are among our state’s and nation’s most priceless treasures,” Strickland said. “Writing a letter to them to show them we care is a small token of our appreciation for their service and sacrifice. I encourage all Louisianans … to reach out to a veteran living in one of our five veterans homes.”
Louisianans can address their letters to Project LOVE and send them to one or more of the state’s five veterans homes. The addresses are:
• Southwest Louisiana Veterans Home – 1610 Evangeline Road – Jennings, LA 70546
• Louisiana Veterans Home – 4739 Highway 10 – Jackson, LA 70748
• Northeast Louisiana Veterans Home – 6700 Highway 165 North – Monroe, LA 71203
• Northwest Louisiana Veterans Home – 3130 Arthur Ray Teague Parkway – Bossier City, LA 71112
• Southeast Louisiana Veterans Home – 4080 W. Airline Highway – Reserve, LA 70084.
For more information about the Louisiana Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs, visit vetaffairs.la.gov, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 225-219-5000 or follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Taylor Duncan was diagnosed with autism at the age of 4. He says he “had speech issues, sensory issues, and anxiety issues growing up.” As a result, he was on the receiving end of a stigma from his social mates and the coaches of the baseball teams he played on in his youth. Eventually, he found individuals who were willing to take the time to find out just what he could do.
Duncan founded Alternative Baseball, which “provides the authentic baseball experience” for those 15 and older who have autism and other disabilities. He began the project in 2016, and is now expanding it into Lake Charles. Duncan says Alternative Baseball has a player pool of 300 players from 15 states. “Everywhere we possibly can find a coach, a manager, we want to get something started.” Alternative Baseball is looking for volunteers who would like to start teams in the Lake Area. If you’re interested in being a coach, umpire or volunteer, sign up at alternativebaseball.org.
A recent issue of 64 Parishes contained a few notes about the role of SWLA in the history of rockabilly. Author Ben Sandmel states that in Crowley, J. D. Miller’s recording studio was a “hotbed of rockabilly activity for rambunctious artists” in the 1950s and ‘60s. Those spending time in the studio included Johnny Jano and Al Ferrier.
In Church Point (halfway between Eunice and Sunset), the obscure Lanor label released the Cajun rockabilly tune “Parlez-Vous L’Francais” by Bill Matte in 1961.
A few miles away, the Lafayette-based accordionist Aldus Roger recorded a rockabilly rendition of the ‘50s blues number “One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer” in 1962. The leader of the Lafayette Playboys, Roger had a music show on KLFY-TV 10 in the 1950s and ‘60s.
Sandmel also says that several songs of Cameron Parish natives Rusty and Doug Kershaw, such as “Diggy Liggy Lo,” that were released in 1961, could be considered rockabilly. The duo, called simply Rusty and Doug at the time, got their song up to No. 14 on the U.S. country charts. In 1969, Kershaw took a solo version all the way to the top of the Canadian country charts.