So much for waiting on that tax rebate check. Cleaning out your closets can now put fast cash in your pockets. Plato’s Closet, which has just opened in front of Old Navy on the periphery of the Mall of Acadiana, is a nationwide recycling retailer that pays cash for trendy, designer styles, namely name brand clothing from stores like Express, Limited, American Eagle, Tommy Hilfiger and Abercrombie & Fitch (mainly items that were in the stores in the past 12 to 18 months). The clothes and accessories need to be gently used and clean. It also buys room decor and books, CDs and DVDs. Bring your items in anytime and get cash, or shop around, as Plato’s Closet resells the goods for 70 percent off retail prices. The Plato’s Closet franchisees for Lafayette, Tony and Julie Finical of Baton Rouge, also have a store on Siegen Lane in the Capital City. For more info, visit www.platoscloset.com or call 984-8045. — Leslie Turk
One great way to help offset the impact of Hurricane Rita and Katrina on Louisiana’s forests is to plant a native tree, even if you do it in your own back yard. The Bayou Vermilion District, Trees Acadiana and the Boy Scouts have given away more than 700 trees since February. There are still about 100 saplings left to distribute. Species range from large trees like willow oak, cherry bark oak, white oak and nuttall oak to the small flowering and fruit bearing mayhaw. While now is not the time to put them in the ground, with a little water and care they will do just fine in their pots until next fall. Call the BVD at 769-7283 or just go weekdays between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m to pick up a tree. — Mary Tutwiler
COW ISLAND FEVER
Feufollet is all grown up, and its latest CD — Cow Island Hop — is proof. What started out as a band of kids playing Cajun music 13 years ago has aged into one of the stalwarts of the flourishing local and international music scene. While songs like Josh Caffery’s “Cow Island Waltz,” Adam Hebert’s “Blues de Dix Ans,” Shirley Bergeron’s “Madame Bosco,” Chris Stafford’s “Chere Beth” and the Touchet Family’s “Jolie Fille” showcase a band extremely familiar with Cajun music, other tunes exhibit the progressive new direction the band seems to be headed. Cow Island Hop retails for $15 and can be ordered online at www.feufollet.net.
— R. Reese Fuller
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.