Thursday, August 24, 2006

One Year Later Calendar of Events

Video Clips of Some Events
Gulf Coast News Reflects:

August 25
The Pearlington Community invites you to come and share in their Volunteer’s Reunion Appreciation Gospel Musical on Friday, August 25, 2006, at 7 p.m. The event will be held at the New Hope Baptist Church in Pearlington, MS.

August 26
Reunion of Volunteers, hosted by Coalition of Disaster Relief Agencies in Pearlington, 4 p.m. on the property of Susie Sharp, a Pearlington resident. The event is open to all volunteers who have worked in Pearlington since the storm, as well as invited members of the community who also have volunteered in their own recovery.

Welcome Home Bay St. Louis tailgate party, 5-9 p.m., Historic City Hall and Depot District. Special volunteer recognition and Katrina memorabilia. Entertainment by the Pat Murphy Band. Bring lawn chairs and picnic baskets. Details: Hancock Chamber, 467-9048.

August 27
St. Rose de Lima Parish, Bay St. Louis, 11 a.m., after the 9 a.m. Mass, trees to be planted in memory of those lost in storm, in memory of Dan Kevil, a volunteer who drowned, and in appreciation for all volunteers and assistance received.

Hands Across the Coast, 3 p.m., be in location by 2:30 p.m., along U.S. 90 from Pascagoula to Bay St. Louis/Waveland. Participants will join hands for two minutes of silence. Details: Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 436-3123.

Kids' Day in Pearlington, 3-5 p.m., Pearlington Mobile Library. Katrina anniversary event will celebrate the area's progress. Free books and activities for children. Sponsored by the Hancock County Library System. Details: 467-6836.

Hancock Chamber Art Gallery Opening, 5-7 p.m., old Chamber Office, 412 U.S. 90, Suite 6, Bay St. Louis. This is the first public art gallery to open in Hancock County since Katrina. Event will feature the work of 200 resident artists and the post-Katrina traveling art exhibits held at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark., Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis, Minn. Sponsored by the Hancock Chamber and The Arts, Hancock County. Details: Gwen Impson, 263-6530.

August 28
Candlelight prayer vigil, 7 p.m., City Park, Bay St. Louis, hosted by Holy Trinity Catholic School. Candles will be provided, or bring your own. Vigil will include song and a moment of silence. Details: Holy Trinity School, 467-5158, or Phoebe Thriffiley, 466-6606.

August 29
Katrina memorial sunrise prayer vigil, 6-7 a.m., Gulfside Methodist Assembly, 950 S. Beach Blvd., Waveland. Sponsored by the Steps Coalition. The public is invited to participate in the event, a solemn gathering for survivors, volunteers, clergy, officials and friends. Details: 832-8806.

Hancock County church services, 7-9 a.m., at churches throughout the county based on each church's time schedules. Hancock County remembrance, 9 a.m., moment of meditation or silent prayer to remember Katrina and lost loved ones; and 9:01 a.m., church bells and sirens ring throughout the county.

Ecumenical Service on the Beach, 8 a.m., Coleman Avenue, Waveland. Details: Kathy Pinn, 332-2270.

Our Lady of the Gulf Parish, Bay St. Louis, 10 a.m., Our Lady Academy, St. Stanislaus, Holy Trinity and OLG Parish prayer service in the OLA gym. Afterward, OLA, Holy Trinity and OLG will plant a tree on one side of the street and SSC will plant one on its side.

Seventh Street Park dedication, 10:30 a.m., Bay St. Louis. Recognition of North Carolina volunteers who have given so much during the rebuilding process. Details: Mike Cuevas, 463-7120.

Luncheon to recognize Hancock County officials, 11:30 a.m., Daniel's Restaurant, Bay St. Louis. Invitation only. Sponsored by Hancock Chamber and the Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission. Details and tickets: Hancock Chamber, 467-9048.

Hancock County Health Department dedication ceremony, 1:30 p.m., at Longfellow Drive Government Complex, Bay St. Louis. New facility dedication and reception in recognition of the combined efforts of state and local officials, donors and public health teams. Modular unit donated by GE Plastics. Details: 467-9048.

Parade, 4 p.m., down Coleman Avenue, Waveland.

Katrina Memorial dedication, 5 p.m., Coleman Avenue, Waveland, on the beach. Also, recognition of volunteers.

Celebrate Life in Waveland!, 5:30-7 p.m., tailgate party and live entertainment. Details: Kathy Pinn, 332-2270.

Memorial prayer service, 7 p.m., St. Rose de Lima Church, Bay St. Louis, with nationally acclaimed gospel choir.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Coastal Clean Up Day

The 18th Annual Mississippi Coastal Cleanup took place on Saturday, September 16, 2006. About 3,200 volunteers collected over
Volunteers collected 63,111 pounds of trash—that’s more than 31.5 tons of marine debris—
including 4 dump truckloads of marine debris too large to fit in trash bags, such as the two
refrigerators found on Deer Island along 147 miles of MS Gulf Coast and barrier islands. Other items collected were: tires, a car battery, a television, two riding lawn mowers, tires, 8-track tapes, a kitchen cabinet door, ceramic serving dishes, a bundle of foreign mail, a swim fin, wooden pallets, Princess Diana Royal wedding commemorative coin, two cars, a Tennessee Williams novel, and boxer shorts. (2006 final results) The cleanup, which usually focuses on the Coast's mainland and barrier island beaches and waterways, has expanded to include lakes, rivers, marshes, bayous, estuaries, and other watershed locations in the marine waters extending as far north as Interstate 10. This year's cleanup included more than 40 sites in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties.Cleanup zone captains supply volunteers with trash bags, data cards, pencils, and plastic gloves. Each zone captain wears a yellow zone captain T-shirt so that volunteers can easily spot them on cleanup day.
Please feel free to print out the data card and read it over. On cleanup day, each pair of volunteers will receive a data card like this to identify the trash they pick up. You must complete the data card and turn it in to your zone captain to receive your thank you gift. Zone captains may also wish to have a look at the Zone Captain's Handbook (14 MB!). We also have a data card in Spanish for our Hispanic volunteers!
If you are interested in advertising the Cleanup, we invite you to print out and post these flyers and posters. Please remember to obtain permission before advertising on someone's property!
Take the pledge to help clean up our coast next year on September 15, 2007! Download the official pledge form, fill it out, and fax it back to us! This pledge form is required for those under the age of 21. It is optional, but encouraged, for our adult volunteers.
9/1 - Update From WQRZ
Paddlers Wanted at Grand Bay Reserve for Coastal Cleanup

Bring your canoe or kayak and get ready to paddle for a cleaner Coast on Saturday, Sept. 16, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., at the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (GNDNERR), as part of the 18th annual Mississippi Coastal Cleanup. Participants who bring their own canoes and kayaks will be provided with the equipment needed to pick up trash along Bayou Heron.

A limited number of canoes are available for volunteers (7 years of age and older) to use. Volunteers must call 475-7047 and sign up in advance to reserve a canoe. Cleanup participants who do not have access to a boat are also needed to clean up the area adjacent to the Bayou Heron Boat Launch. People of all ages are invited to join the staff of the GNDNERR in the cleaning up of the reserve. Children 12 and under are reminded that they must wear a life jacket if they are cleaning the bayou from a boat. Please bring insect spray, sunscreen and a pair of work gloves, if possible. Wearing closed-toed shoes is also recommended.

BILOXI, Miss.–Calling all boaters! The Mississippi Marine Debris Task Force is searching for volunteers with boats to aid in the island portion of the 18th Annual Mississippi Coastal Cleanup to be held from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16.
Private boaters are needed for cleanup of Petit Bois Island, Deer Island and the west end and southern tip of Cat Island. Boaters must sign up in advance to participate. To volunteer for Cat and Petit Bois islands call Terry Wildy at 875-9057, ext. 111 or Carol Loew at 875-9057, ext. 108. For Deer Island call Susan Perkins at 523-4051.

Participants in the Grand Bay NERR cleanup should meet at the Grand Bay Reserve office, located at 6005 Bayou Heron Road in southeast Jackson County 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. on the day of the cleanup to sign in and receive their cleanup supplies. Participants are encouraged to call the GNDNERR office at (228) 475-7047 to pre-register and to receive additional details regarding the cleanup. A free drawstring backpack and “Stash Your Trash” awareness bracelet will be given to everyone who participates in the cleanup while supplies last. Children are welcome and encouraged to participate in the cleanup but must be accompanied by an adult.

After the cleanup, there will be a picnic for all Jackson County Coastal Cleanup participants at The Shed Barbeque in Ocean Springs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., only on the day of the event. Cleanup participants will need to show their lunch ticket to receive a free lunch.

The GBNERR is located near the community of Pecan in southeast Jackson County and includes wild lands and waterways from Bangs Lake to the Alabama state line. A major goal of the reserve is to provide for research coordination and dissemination of scientific data to the community and local decision-makers to provide sound information on which to base management decisions.

The 18,000-acre reserve is home to several rare plant and animal species and serves as an essential nursery habitat for numerous important commercial and recreational fish species. GNDNERR is managed through state-federal partnership between the DMR and its local partners: Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mississippi State University, The Nature Conservancy, The University of Southern Mississippi and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


The Mississippi Coastal Cleanup is sponsored by the Mississippi Marine Debris Task Force, which is made up of representatives from Allied Waste Services; Chevron Pascagoula Refinery; Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve; Gulf Islands National Seashore; Hancock County Chamber of Commerce; Hancock Insurance; Harrison County Beautification; Harrison County Sand Beach Department; Home Depot; Jackson County Solid Waste; Keesler Air Force Base; Mississippi Air National Guard CRTC-Gulfport; Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium; Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality; Mississippi Department of Marine Resources; Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College; Mississippi State University Coastal Research & Extension Center; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Naval Construction Battalion Center; Naval Station Pascagoula; Office of Congressman Gene Taylor; Office of the Mississippi Secretary of State; Outback Steakhouse; Rotary International District 6840 and Sea Coast Echo.

Co-sponsors (in-kind donations) include: Allen Beverages, Inc.; Applewhite Industries; The Bay Press; Beverage Association of Mississippi; Cellular South; City of Biloxi; Coast Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Inc.; Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Consolidated; The Dive Shop; First American Printing and Direct Mail; K99FM, Magic 93.7, 92.5 Hallelujah, and News Radio 104.9; Lamar Advertising of South Mississippi; Macland Disposal Inc.; Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians; Mississippi Media; Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce; Rainbow Water; The Shed Barbeque, Ship Island Excursions; The Ocean Conservancy; The Sun Herald; and WLOX-TV 13.

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the State by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes. Visit the DMR online at

Received in Email

Hello All,

Through my work with MSU Extension Service in Hancock County, I have joined the Chamber of Commerce Beautification Committee, which is coordinating the Coastal Cleanup for Hancock County. I would like to ask you, or a group/organization to which you belong, to consider signing up to be a volunteer/s for this year's
Coastal Clean-up which will be held on Saturday, September 16, 8am-11am.

This year's Coastal Clean-up will concentrate on the beach from the mouth of Jordan River to Bayou Caddy. Of course, this will be a coast-wide effort so if you would like to volunteer in a different area that would be great, too.

I know some of you are out-of-towners, but I thought this would be an excellent opportunity for you if you have been wondering how you could help the Gulf Coast recover from Katrina, but don't have a great amount of time to do it.

I know most of you are locals and are quite busy with your own recovery efforts, but I think this is a wonderful chance for us all to give a little back. We have all been so blessed by the efforts of the volunteers who have come to help. Don't you think it would be awesome if we had a record-breaking number of local volunteers to show our support of our own community!

For more information visit the Coastal Clean-up official site
or give me a call or email.

Have A Blessed Day!


I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Phillipians 4:13

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

2 Tax Articles

Hancock County Historic Homes and Businesses

Owners of historic homes and businesses in Hancock County turned out Tuesday to learn more about the tax incentive programs available. Representatives from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History explained to residents how to apply for the preservation program.
The goal is to help property owners save as many storm damaged historic buildings as possible.
"There is a 26 percent federal tax credit with the Internal Revenue Service for historic properties which renovate and repair the storm damage for income producing properties - which is everything from commercial buildings and home offices in your historic house. There is a state tax credit of 25 percent for everybody, homeowners and businesses, for the restoration of historic properties," Barbara Bacot with the Mississippi Department of Archives & History said.
The preservation workshop heads to Jackson County Wednesday afternoon. It will be held at 1:30 at the Pascagoula City Hall. If you can't be there, you may contact the State Department of Archives and History at (601) 576-6940 for more information.

Income Tax Help

Taxpayers still cleaning up from last summer's hurricanes got some help from the IRS on Monday with their tax deadlines and loss calculations.
People hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina can take extra time to file their tax returns, the IRS announced. The tax agency also gave taxpayers in the path of last summer's destructive hurricanes some alternative ways to compute their damages when claiming losses on their tax returns.
President Bush has already enacted special laws allowing taxpayers to recoup more of their unreimbursed and uninsured losses caused by the storms. The deadline change gives taxpayers hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina an extra seven weeks to file their 2005 tax returns. They now have until Oct. 15 to file that paperwork.
Taxpayers who need additional time can apply for an automatic six-month extension, which would give them until April 15, 2007, to file. The new deadline also applies to people who had requested an extension of time to file their 2004 tax returns.
Taxpayers hit by Hurricane Katrina already had a specially extended deadline that had given them until Aug. 28 to file tax returns that were due April 17 for most people.
The IRS also gave taxpayers some new methods for estimating damages to their homes and personal property, so they can use laws that allow taxpayers to recover some losses not reimbursed by insurance.
The changes do not apply to taxpayers whose businesses or rental properties were damaged. They're designed to help people who may have lost necessary records or can't otherwise meet the requirements for proving their losses to the IRS.
The changes give taxpayers hurt by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma several optional methods for calculating how much damage their homes and property sustained. They can be used instead of the methods already permitted, such as an appraisal.
The IRS said it will accept calculations made by an insurance company or a contractor. It also provided mathematical formulas for estimating the cost of damage done to homes. The formulas vary according to the size of a house and the extent of damage done.
The IRS gave taxpayers an additional formula for estimating the damage done to personal property, excluding vehicles.
Click here for more information from the IRS on help for hurricane victims

Insurance Article - wind pool

Both chambers of the Mississippi Legislature on Thursday approved a bill designed to provide stability for the wind pool -- the insurer of last resort for homeowners in high-risk areas. The bill heads to Governor Haley Barbour.

It is designed to give every wind pool policyholder an estimated $500-a year price break on the premium. The relief would be given for four years, and money to cover it would come from a fund created by the premium taxes paid on insurance policies statewide.

Lawmakers say $20 million a year will be taken from the fund -- that's $80 million over the four years.

Coast leaders say providing stability to the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association, often called the wind pool, is an important step in spurring redevelopment nearly 19 months after Hurricane Katrina left a broad swath of destruction across the southern end of the state.

Any insurance company that writes policies in the state must pay an assessment to the wind pool, which provides coverage in the six southernmost counties. Companies that offer policies in the high-risk areas can write themselves out of the assessment, but many have chosen not to do so.

After Katrina, policyholders statewide saw rate increases as companies tried to cover their costs for the wind pool. Officials say rates on the coast more than doubled in some cases, and the
prohibitively high cost of coverage has put the brakes on redevelopment.

Plan To Shore Up 'Wind Pool' Advances At Capitol
POSTED: 7:03 pm CST January 10, 2007
UPDATED: 7:10 pm CST January 10, 2007
JACKSON, Miss. -- Trying to keep a lid on rising commercial insurance costs along the Gulf Coast, the Mississippi House approved a bill Wednesday to put $30 million into the wind pool program.
The House vote was 119-1. The proposal moves to the Senate for more debate.
Gov. Haley Barbour has said he wants to spend federal money, rather than state money, to shore up the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association.
The association is the insurer of last resort in the six southernmost counties, and it's often called the wind pool. It assesses companies throughout the state to provide coverage in areas most insurers deem too risky.
Since Hurricane Katrina struck Aug. 29, 2005, the wind pool's rates have jumped 268 percent for businesses and 90 percent for homeowners.
Senate Insurance Committee Chairman Dean Kirby said last week that mitigating the commercial rate increases would help drive economic growth on the coast and speed up recovery from the unprecedented storm.

Request For Fed Help With Wind Pool
Gov. Looks For More Federal Money For 'Wind Pool'
POSTED: 12:36 pm CST November 20, 2006
UPDATED: 3:13 pm CST November 20, 2006
JACKSON, Miss. -- Gov. Haley Barbour is looking for a way to pump more federal dollars into Mississippi's "wind pool" insurance program to cope with premium rates that could derail Hurricane Katrina recovery.
Wind-pool premiums were recently increased 268 percent for business owners and 90 percent for homeowners. The increases would have been far worse had the governor not received approval to cushion the blow with $50 million in federal Katrina-relief money.
Even with the rate increases, more Mississippians are being forced into the state-sanctioned wind-pool insurance because private companies are refusing to write policies after Katrina.
The wind pool was created after Hurricane Camille in 1969 to provide wind-damage coverage in areas in the six southernmost counties where companies don't want to write standard policies.
Home and business owners pay the premiums. When damage exceeds the money collected in wind-pool premiums, the more than 500 insurance companies that do business in the state have to pay the difference.
Those companies have had to pay more than $545 million in wind-pool losses from Katrina.
Even with this year's rate increases, the wind pool is nowhere near sound.
The wind pool since 1987 has taken in $188 million in premiums and paid out $778 million.
Dale Approves 90 Percent Increase In Wind Pool Rates

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner George Dale on Friday approved a 90 percent rate increase for homeowner policies provided by the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association. The association, commonly known as the wind pool, had requested a rate increase of almost 400 percent as a result of the devastation caused in August 2005 by Hurricane Katrina. Dale said a rate increase of that size was unacceptable.

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