5) Crescent City Classic
Thousands of athletes will participate this Saturday, April 11, in the Crescent City Classic, one of the most popular 10k road races. There is a party following the race and the Crescent City Health and Fitness Expo, held the Thursday and Friday before the race is also open to the public. The race begins at 8 a.m. in the French Quarter, continues Uptown and ends at City Park in Mid-City. For more information, go to www.ccc10k.com.

4) Sentencing for Producer in Film Tax Credit Case

A local film producer is due in court for sentencing this week for paying bribes to the then-state film commissioner in a scheme to exploit the film-industry tax-credit program. That program has been widely praised for dramatically increasing the amount of film and television business coming to Louisiana in the years since it was created. But a federal probe alleged a kickback scheme in which former commissioner Mark Smith received cash payments from Malcolm Petal, former chief executive of the production company Louisiana Institute of Film Technology, who would then receive more marketable tax credits than normally allowed. Smith pleaded guilty to the government’s charges in September and Petal pleaded guilty in December. Petal is set to be sentenced Thursday, April 9.

3) Easter in New Orleans
Though Christians traditionally celebrate Easter in church and at family gatherings, more and more locals seem to be including a parade in their holiday plans as well. This Sunday sees the continuation of several well-established and newer Easter parades. The 5th Annual Easter on The Avenue Parade doubles as a fundraiser for St. Michael Special School, and includes breakfast at Emeril’s Delmonico Restaurant at 11:30 a.m., a parade of carriages and convertibles along St. Charles Avenue beginning at 1 p.m. and a dinner and dance at the restaurant afterward. Details and ticket information at www.easterontheavenue.com. The Chris Owens French Quarter Easter Parade begins at 1 p.m. at Canal and Bourbon streets with colorful floats, marching bands and Easter trinkets and continues through the Quarter. Details at www.frenchquartereasterparade.com. The tenth annual New Orleans Gay Easter Parade also rolls through the French Quarter, beginning at St. Ann and North Rampart streets at 4:30 p.m. Details at www.gayeasterparade.com. And the Goodchildren Social Aid & Pleasure Club presents its 2nd Annual St. Claude Easter Parade, beginning at 2 p.m. at St. Claude and Poland avenues. Details at www.goodchildrencarnivalclub.org.

2) Progress Sought on City Playgrounds

A City Council hearing scheduled for Tuesday, April 7, will once again address the state of the city’s public parks, gyms and pools, many of which remain closed since Hurricane Katrina. In March, a similar hearing before the council’s Youth & Recreation Committee revealed that while recreational facilities have sat in disrepair, City Hall has access to more than $13 million from FEMA intended to bring them back to public use which it has not committed. NORD officials said they are in a dispute with FEMA over the true cost of rebuilding some 161 properties. Council Vice President Arnie Fielkow called this week’s second meeting to gather city, state and FEMA officials in one place and work out a solution. The hearing begins at 1 p.m. in City Council Chambers.
1) UNO Poll to Gauge Local Views on Quality of Life
The results of the latest Quality of Life Survey from the University of New Orleans will be presented today, April 6. This survey provides citizens ratings of government services and will include the public’s assessment of Mayor Ray Nagin, Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard, the New Orleans City Council and the new office of Inspector General in New Orleans. The survey also asked residents about hurricane preparedness and related matters and if they would like to see U.S. Attorney Jim Letten be replaced or remain in his position, a matter under discussion by politicians.

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