Hope you will stop by the Northshore Harbor Center on Thursday, April 27—today for most of you who grab The Slidell Independent the day it hits the racks—since the annual East St. Tammany Business and Community Showcase will be taking place.
You won’t have to look hard to find me since our booth is right in the front lobby when you enter the building—thanks Dawn!
I’m almost not sure where I first came up with the name “Chamber Expo,” but for some reason I have always called it “the Expo.” Anyway, the “Showcase” is one of the neatest events of the year in Slidell and does truly have close to 3,000 people who will be inside the Harbor Center anywhere from 3 to 7 p.m. when the event is open.
I like the event because it is a great chance for me to stand there for nearly four hours and chat with our readers. My daughter, Jennifer Weisheit, will be working the booth with me and during the day I usually have any of my other daughters hanging around with me also—Chrissy Smith or Vicky Chiri. Even a few of my grandkids usually pop by. And of course, my favorite girl—my wife—always stops by too. Maybe you can be lucky enough to meet the mystery woman.
The Showcase is a great chance to stroll throughout the Harbor Center and get information on over 100 local businesses, and to meet the general managers or owners of many. You know that I am huge fan of shopping local and I hope you will take some time to meet a lot of these businessmen and women since it helps you understand why a local owner is best to bring your business to.
Also, the Showcase has tons of free giveaways at almost every booth—I mean, you will get a FREE NEWSPAPER if you come see us! Oh yea, the paper is already free. But hey, many of you know that it is difficult to find a paper at the racks sometimes so here is a shot to get one easily!
Speaking of getting the paper—we are now in our ninth year with The Independent and the only real complaint I get on any kind of regular basis is the issue of finding a paper at our 150 business locations in the area. You would think it would be easy to get the paper since we offer it at so many places. But I personally handle refilling some paper boxes every week and I know that 100 papers in a box can go very fast. For that matter, I marvel at the way the Second Street Post Office goes through about 500 papers in barely over 24 hours. That is no joke, we refill it every few hours after it all starts on Wednesday night.
I would think more people would be willing to take advantage of our home delivery that started a little over a year ago. Yes, you do have to pay for someone to deliver the paper to your doorstep or to your business, but it is only $1 a week.
So if you are among the folks who complain about the papers disappearing so fast, stop by and see me Thursday and I’ll have some subscription applications. Or you can mail $26 for six months or $52 for a year to: Slidell Independent, P.O. Box 3130, Slidell, La., 70459 to get it started immediately.
In the meantime, come say hello at the “Expo” this Thursday.
I have a few notes from my trip to Oklahoma over the Easter weekend and I wanted to throw in a few of them in the next few columns.
One thing that my wife and I noticed is that the states of Oklahoma and Texas are really huge when it comes to a campaign against texting and driving, and even talking on the phone while driving.
From the time you cross the state line into Texas you will see a lot of electronic signs on the interstate that say “You Talk, U Text, U Crash.”
These electronic signs were steadily along the interstate, and then there were huge billboards we saw a lot of that also promoted the idea of not talking on your phone while you drove.
I hate to say it, but the moment we crossed the state line back into Louisiana it was very evident that our state was not spending much money at all to encourage no texting while driving.
What we saw were an occasional road work sign that had a little phone picture with a circle and a line through it asking people to not text or use their phone in those areas.
It was crystal clear that Louisiana wasn’t too worried about spending money on that issue, but it’s something I believe will be the next big thing that will likely get outlawed. For that matter, my wife and I talked about cars that may soon be made with devices that literally ban you from texting on a phone while driving.
I am sure that is coming, I am sure it is a great idea and I do hope it happens soon.
Kevin Chiri can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.