5) Zephyrs Begin Season at Home
The New Orleans Zephyrs begin their 2009 season with a series of home games at Zephyr Field in Metairie this week. The local team’s home opener is Friday, April 17, starting at 7 p.m. against Nashville, which it will play at home on Saturday, Sunday and Monday as well. Friday evening’s season opener will be followed by fireworks. For more information, go to www.zephyrsbaseball.com.

4) Sentencing for Politically Connected Bond Broker
Bond broker Gwendolyn Moyo is due in court this Wednesday, April 15, for sentencing following her October conviction on fraud charges. A jury found Moyo guilty on 41 counts of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering related to her construction bond business and she faces up to 20 years in prison for this, her third conviction. The case netted a guilty plea on money laundering charges last year from Derrick Shepherd, who at the time was a state Senator. The indictment against Moyo also named former Congressman Bill Jefferson and his sister Betty Jefferson, a New Orleans assessor, as unindicted co-conspirators in the case.

3) French Quarter Festival
The riverfront and streets of the Vieux Carre will ring with music and teem with crowds for the 26th annual French Quarter Festival. Begun as a way to lure people back to the Quarter following a large public works program to replace streets in the 1980s, the festival has grown progressively bigger each year. This year, the festivities will be held April 17-19. The main festival events are free and will be held on more than a dozen stages with a line-up of 150 local performers. For more information, go to www.fqfi.org.

2) A Look at VA Hospital Plans

The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will hold a public meeting on Thursday, April 16, to present potential designs for its new hospital in New Orleans. The VA plans to build a new hospital in a neighborhood of lower Mid-City between South Galvez and South Rocheblave streets and between Canal Street and Tulane Avenue. The plan, along with a related proposal from Louisiana State University to build its own hospital adjacent to the federal facility, has been controversial because it will require razing a large swath of homes and businesses. The meeting will be held at Grace Episcopal Church, 3700 Canal St. in Mid-City, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Project information, including four conceptual design schemes for the new hospital, is online at www.valsumedcenters.com
1) New Orleans Master Plan Meetings Begin
Residents will gather this week at the first in a series of planning meetings to learn how the city’s newly proposed Master Plan will affect their neighborhoods. Last month, city planners and consultants released the first draft of a broad master plan intended to guide development in New Orleans for years to come. The plan runs to hundreds of pages and includes both general and specific ideas for the city. On Wednesday, April 15, the meeting for Planning District 3 will be at the Jewish Community Center, 5342 St. Charles Ave. and the meeting for Planning District 5 will be at the St. Paul Episcopal School, 6249 Canal Blvd. On Thursday, April 16, the meeting for Planning District 1 will be at the Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp St. , while the meeting for Planning Districts 12 and 13 will be at the Behrman Gym, 2529 General Meyer Ave.  All meetings are scheduled from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Meetings for other districts continue next week. The City Council will later review, adopt, reject or amend the plan. Last fall, voters approved a City Charter amendment that would give the master plan that council does adopt the force of law for the first time. Details on meetings and a draft of the plan are available online at www.nolamasterplan.org.

Ian McNulty is a freelance writer in New Orleans and contributing writer for New Orleans Magazine. Reach him at imcnulty@cox.net.