Tuesday, August 28, 2012

City press release: No RTA, Greyhound bus service today; city completes about 50 medical needs transfers

Posted By on Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 6:25 AM

NEW ORLEANS, LA— At 11:00 p.m. Monday, August 27, the City of New Orleans provided an update on the City’s readiness in advance of Tropical Storm Isaac potential landfall in southeast Louisiana on Tuesday.

At this time, there is no mandatory evacuation order for New Orleans. Mayor Landrieu has strongly encouraged residents who live outside the City’s levee protection system or in low-lying areas (like Venetian Isles and Irish Bayou) to get to higher ground. Residents who live inside the levee system that have not left the city should prepare to take shelter with essential supplies including food, water, and medications. Residents will need to prepare to be self-sufficient for at least three days in the event of street flooding and power outages.

The City will not operate shelters of last resort. However, four local homeless shelters have added additional capacity to serve homeless residents.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Press release: City update on storm readiness

Posted By on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 6:39 PM

NEW ORLEANS, LA— Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu urged residents to brace for severe weather conditions as Tropical Storm Isaac moved toward an expected Tuesday morning landfall as a strong Category 1 or Category 2 hurricane. Mayor Landrieu has declared a state of emergency and mobilized City departments and partner agencies to prepare for a significant storm.

“We have a plan in place to secure the City, and we have a plan to respond quickly in the event of emergencies,” Mayor Landrieu said. “We’re confident that the work we’ve done in the last few years makes us fully capable of handling this type of storm.”

At this time, there is no mandatory evacuation order for New Orleans. However, Mayor Landrieu strongly encouraged residents who live outside the City’s levee protection system or in low-lying areas (like Venetian Isles and Irish Bayou) to get to higher ground. Residents who live inside the levee system should prepare to take shelter with essential supplies including food, water, and medications. Residents will need to be self-sufficient for at least three days in the event of street flooding and power outages.

“Now is the time to take every precaution that you have been prepared to take over the past few years because that will determine our success in getting through this event,” Mayor Landrieu added. “Stay calm, take this seriously and execute your plans."

The City will not operate shelters of last resort. However, four local homeless shelters have added additional capacity to serve homeless residents.

(Continued after the jump)

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Hurricane Isaac: No mandatory evacuation for New Orleans; FEMA declares pre-landfall emergency

Posted By on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 5:00 PM

In a City Hall press conference this afternoon, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said that there will be no mandatory evacuation issued for Orleans Parish, though he repeated that he "strongly encourages" residents living outside levee protections to evacuate.

"If your plan for an event like this was to leave, now is the time," Landrieu said.

Gov. Bobby Jindal, who also spoke at the press conference, said that, during a conference call with President Obama, FEMA director Craig Fugate and the governors of several Gulf Coast states, Obama gave his approval for a pre-landfall emergency declaration. Jindal said that beginning tomorrow, FEMA will begin sending additional MREs, tarps and other supplies to the state.

"We are going to need help after the storm as well," Jindal added.

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That’s why they call it comfort food

Posted By on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 12:38 PM

red beans at sammys

Freezers are being emptied of meat and the haul from that last fishing trip, canned food is being swept from the shelves and coolers are being stocked. With a storm approaching, the normal New Orleans preoccupation with food turns precautionary.

Still, you have to eat, and if that brings you out to restaurants keep in mind that those businesses are hurriedly making their own plans for the storm.

“We’re hearing from a lot of them and most are saying they plan to close Tuesday and Wednesday,” says Erica Papillion, director of communications for the Louisiana Restaurant Association. “But then many others are closing after lunch today.”

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Hurricane 2.0

Posted By on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 12:06 PM

A view of Googles Crises Management map for Isaac
  • Screengrab taken from Google
  • A view of Google's Crises Management map for Isaac

Every year, a hurricane hits the United States and every year, we all play a game trying to predict which states will get hit the hardest. Now, while there's no predicting the future, technology has allowed us to at least react a little faster when news confirmation of a storm hitting somewhere arrives.

Isaac is no different. With the first major storm hitting U.S. shores this 2012 hurricane season, Google has prepared a Crisis Management map for people affected by Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac (screen grab of link shown above). By following this link, you'll be directed to a live Google map that has the storm's projected path, as well as hurricane advisory, warnings and evacuation instructions for every county in the storm's path.

Seeing as how if we spent every waking hour on the Weather Channel tracking a storm's every movement we wouldn't get any of the things done that we need to in order to, you know, get through the storm, this Google feature is a pretty useful tool in order to get the latest information available on the Web about Isaac and future storms.

h/t Vanessa Schneider, who you can Google

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Y@ Speak: AHHH HURRICANE

Posted By on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 11:35 AM


Storm's a comin'! Time to freak out on the Internet!! Twitter during the last 48 hours looks like an episode of The Newsroom. Chill out, guys! Everything will be OK (unless it isn't). Also this week: tweets about Legitimate Ape Todd Akin, a local news anchor and important government spokesman get feisty, Robin Williams eats a hot dog, and tweeters react both positively and negatively to the results of our annual Best of New Orleans readers' poll.

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Best of New Orleans 2012 Digital Edition

Congratulations to all of the winners.

Posted on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Click to view on your iPad or see a tiny version on your Iphone


To view past digital editions of Gambit click here.
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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hurricane Isaac: Landrieu and officials announce preparations

Posted By on Sun, Aug 26, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Mayor Mitch Landrieu and a raft of city officials and first responders held a press conference this afternoon to address plans for Hurricane Isaac. Watch here:

The current plan is to shelter in place, though Landrieu and emergency officials did not rule out calling a mandatory evacuation in the next 24 hours.

A state of emergency has been declared for Orleans, Jefferson and surrounding parishes, as well as for the state of Louisiana by Gov. Bobby Jindal. Landrieu said the city was preparing for a storm that could drop 12 to 16 inches of rain, likely making landfall Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. As meteorologists have been saying, landfall is unusually uncertain for a storm this close to the Gulf Coast. Right now, hurricane warnings have been issued for the entire Gulf Coast from Morgan City, La. to the western panhandle of Florida.

No school closures or evacuations have been planned for Orleans or Jefferson Parish as of Sunday afternoon. Landrieu said another press conference to assess conditions is planned for Monday morning, but residents should stay aware of the situation all evening.

A few notes:

• Sign up for municipal text alerts at ready.nola.gov. Get the state's free "Get a Game Plan" app for iPhone.

• Parking on neutral grounds in Orleans Parish will be allowed as of Monday evening.

• Trash pickup WILL occur Monday, but not Tuesday or Wednesday. Secure all trash bins and recycle bins.

• The city will not be operating any shelters of last resort, including the Superdome and Louis Armstrong International Airport. Plans have been made for homeless shelters to take in extra people. If you need evacuation help, see this map of city evacuation points.

• Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman said inmates in temporary housing will be moved started Monday.

• NOPD chief Ronal Serpas said the city's 311 non-emergency line will be up and fully staffed as of Monday morning. Use that number for all non-emergencies. For emergency calls, use 911.

Television meteorologists will be updating the situation throughout the evening, and we'll be updating our Twitter feed with any major news. We have also set up a Twitter list of local meteorologists, officials and other weather resources. Subscribe here.

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saints show fight in win over Texans

Posted By on Sat, Aug 25, 2012 at 11:55 PM

The second to last preseason game is the one fans get excited about. It’s the game teams prepare for as it were a regular season game. Saturday night’s first half between the Saints and Texans certainly entertained fans but may have also prepared them for what could be a cardiac season.

The Saints and Texans combined offensively for 457 yards, 29 first downs, 48 points and 5 turnovers (all fumbles) in a half of football that took almost two hours to play. By the time the two teams walked to their respective locker rooms for halftime, the scoreboard read a 24-24 tie. A game the Saints would hold on to win 34-27.

“This is a good offense that we played tonight,” said Vitt during his post game chat with the media. “The best play caller in football is Sean Payton and Gary Kubiak isn’t far behind. He knows exactly what he’s calling. He does a great job with his progression, running something to set you up for something. Andrew Johnson is one of the top two or three receivers in the National Football League. They have an outstanding running game that compliments their passing game.”

Houston quickly put up 14 points out of the gate before the Saints would respond with 14 straight points of their own. “Give credit to them. I give credit to our guys it looked bleak early, down 14, we hung in there forced a couple of turnovers got the offense a short field and our guys competed,” said Vitt of the back and forth battle early in the game.

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NOLA Media Group confirms move into One Canal Place — but where are the comments?

Posted By on Sat, Aug 25, 2012 at 2:55 PM

(EDITED TO ADD: Less than three hours after this story was posted, comments were restored on the NOLA.com thread described below.)

Back in June, we reported the new NOLA Media Group was eying space in One Canal Place, the office tower connected to the Shops at Canal Place:

Some employees who have been invited to remain with the company have been told those offices may be in the One Canal Place Office Tower, the 32-story office building with The Shops at Canal Place on its three lowest floors.

While navigating the parking garage at One Canal Place, exiting into downtown traffic and trying to reach freeway on-ramps would seem to be more difficult than getting out of the more centrally-located 3800 Howard location, reporters and photographers have been told they will spend most of their time out of the office and "in the field," communicating with the main office via laptops and mobile devices.

NOLA Media Group president and publisher Ricky Mathews denied that report at the time ("We’re investing heavily in downtown space — you’ll see that soon — there was a story in Gambit this morning, they got it wrong, but when we do announce what we’re doing, you’re going to be very impressed"), but the company has now made it official with a story that carried no byline either in today's Times-Picayune or on NOLA.com:

NOLA Media Group has leased 27,000 square feet on the top two floors of the Canal Place office tower in downtown New Orleans to house the new media company once renovations are complete in December, company officials announced Thursday. The Canal Place complex also includes the Shops at Canal Place and the Westin Hotel.

The renovated space will take up the entire 32nd floor and a portion of the 31st floor. The news-gathering operation, along with sales, digital solutions, marketing and other administrative functions, will be housed at the new offices, accommodating more than 140 employees, said NOLA Media Group president and publisher Ricky Mathews.

Seems like a story ripe for comment — but several NOLA.com commenters emailed Gambit overnight and this morning saying their comments have been removed from NOLA.com. A couple of screenshots of the comments have been preserved below the jump — and you're welcome to leave your own here.

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