Monday, November 26, 2007

Learning Portland

Posted on Mon, Nov 26, 2007 at 4:42 PM

 by Sam Winston

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With all of the over-stuffing on turkey, cranberry sauce, football and hectic travel during the extended Thanksgiving weekend, one may not have seen an extremely insightful article about the future of New Orleans and how the city chooses its urban rebuilding strategies.

"Two cities: One in the midst of a decadelong real estate boom; the other, devastated, depopulated and wondering who will come home. What can they learn from each other?"

The above mentioned cities are New Orleans and Portland. The article was written for The Oregonian, Portland's daily paper, by a former Oregon state representative that spent

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Hornets Shouldn't Stay In New Orleans?

Posted on Fri, Nov 23, 2007 at 6:26 PM

 By Sam Winston

The hosts of ESPN's Pardon The Interruption Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser said that the Hornets should 100 percent NOT stay in New Orleans.

"In post-Katrina New Orleans the economy isn't strong enough to support anything but a football team. You can't have a team that plays at home for 41 dates, you just can't." - Kornheiser

In referring to the NBA's position on the issue and its relationship to Hornets owner George Shinn, Kornheiser said,

"Whether you like the owner or not, the owner is one of your partners, you can't put him in this sort of liability."

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Free Money

Posted By on Wed, Nov 21, 2007 at 4:34 PM

Grants are available for performing arts organizations who offer educational programs in the greater New Orleans area. The Foundation for Entertainment Development and Education, the folks who bring us the Big Easy Awards for music and theatre for the past 20 years, also offer grants for projects that focus on education in the performing arts. Past recipients include NOCCA, All Kinds of Theatre, and the Fred J. Palmisano Memorial Scholarship Fund at UNO Dept of Drama.

Application deadline is December 14. Email a description of your project and the amount you are requesting to Gloria Powers, Executive Director of the Foundation.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Turkey Day-Less

Posted on Tue, Nov 20, 2007 at 9:49 PM

 By Sam Winston

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Philip Roth in his Pulitzer Prize winning book American Pastoral described Thanksgiving as the quintessential American day. Where the battle of life halts and "just one colossal turkey for two hundred and fifty million people- one colossal turkey feeds all... A moratorium on all the grievances and resentments for everyone in America who is suspicious of everyone else. It is the American pastoral par excellence and it lasts twenty-four hours."

It is certainly going to be weird to not have a Turkey Day but it will be even stranger to not even have the idea of Thanksgiving here in Germany. Roth was onto something when he said that it is truly "American."

My first realization that there would be no Turkey Day for me was

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Not So Cool Hand Luke

Posted By on Tue, Nov 20, 2007 at 7:27 PM

In an alternate reality, The Wendall Baker Story, written and directed by Luke Wilson (with brother Andrew) would be quirky, clever and a charming homage to the lazy Texas lads of the 70's. In reality the film tries too hard to be quirky, charming and clever, and barely achieves even "lazy".

The story is cliché...Ex-con goes straight to win the girl and ultimately saves the day. Luke plays the Texan, Wendall Baker, with his "aw shucks" demeanor and barely invites a second glance into the depth which needs to be shown by this character. When your hero is a slacker by nature, he should show us more than smirks and shallow one-liners. This does not happen with Luke Wilson. Unfortunately, I am not sure that is in his acting capabilities. Do not totally dismiss The Wendall Baker Story. There are some amazing cameos by Will Ferrell as the

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Booking the Future

Posted By on Mon, Nov 19, 2007 at 10:21 PM

Much has been written in the media about the New Orleans Public School system starting their master planning process. Well, they’re not the only ones planning for the future, or trying to make a positive impact on public education. Starting tonight, the New Orleans Public Library asks that the public (this means you) join them in putting together a master plan for the future of public libraries in New Orleans.Just like the public school system was severely damaged by the levee failures, the New Orleans Public Library (NOPL) suffered a number of losses. Prior to the storm, there were 13 NOPL locations and approximately 200 employees providing library services throughout the city (I know this because I was one of those employees).

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Sidr Something Serious

Posted on Mon, Nov 19, 2007 at 8:59 PM

 By Sam Winston

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If you were busy over the weekend tallying election results or fuming over the Corps recent fudge and retraction, you might have missed the most relevant world event for New Orleans to happen since Hurricane Katrina. Cyclone Sidr, a category 4 and 5 storm, devastated Bangladesh as the death toll was confirmed to reach over 3,000 today with estimates of it continuing to rise. The rescues efforts are ongoing.

The parallels are hard not see.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

In Other Jazz Fest News...

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2007 at 9:11 PM

Neville family members were out in force as Quint Davis and various Jazz & Heritage Foundation and Festival officials and Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu made a host of announcements about the 2008 Jazz Fest. Ivan and Ian Neville both played as a crowd gathered at the Foundation's offices on North Rampart Street. Art Neville was also in attendance as Davis announced the return of the Neville Brothers to their closing slot on Sunday.

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Oh, it feels like spring: Jazz Fest and Ponderosa Stomp

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2007 at 7:41 PM

Or at least, I've now temporarily skipped over Thanksgiving, winter holidays of all denominations and Mardi Gras anticipation in my head to start salivating over future Creole stuffed breads and strawberry lemonade. The folks at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival announced this morning that for the first time since '05, they're tacking the second Thursday of the festival back on for a full seven days of Fairgrounds fun.

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Road Home Kafkalaka

Posted on Thu, Nov 15, 2007 at 4:22 PM

 by Sam Winston

In Blog Watch today, blogger Ernie The Attorney offers up a horrifying but true story about his recent experience with the Road Home Program. Despite the "good news" that the program will get a federal bailout of $3 billion, this account raises serious concern.

"Following Katrina's devastation Congress allocated money to be given to home-owners who suffered flood damage. Not every one was eligible, but those who were eligible were sent to a 'Road Home closing' that was supposed to be like a regular real estate closing. The net outcome was the State of Louisiana would send the homeowner some money. This is, of course, a complete fairy tale." - Ernie the Attorney writes.

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