Former federal prosecutor Sal Perricone yesterday removed a defamation suit — filed against him by River Birch landfill owner Fred Heebe in Orleans Parish Civil District Court two months ago — to U.S. District Court.
Heebe's lawsuit stems from comments Perricone posted to Nola.com stories under several aliases including "Henry L. Mencken1951." Those comments were posted while Perricone was an acting prosecutor involved in the investigation and eventual prosecution of River Birch executive Dominic Fazzio. (That case is unrelated to River Birch, at least for the moment.) According to Heebe's lawsuit, Perricone made false statements indicating that Heebe is guilty of crimes — including payouts to public officials and local press — for which he has not been convicted, or even charged.
Perricone has moved to take the case federal, according to court filings, because the allegations involved his actions while an acting U.S. government official. (If this feels familiar, there's good reason.)
Read the original lawsuit: HeebeComplaint.pdf
Read Perricone's removal notice: Removal.pdf
The mood inside the Saints locker room following Sunday’s 34-14 loss in Denver was one of bewilderment. Once again the team didn't just lose a game but seemed unable to explain why the team played so poorly.
“No. We felt pretty good coming into the game about our game plan. It just didn't go the way we envisioned it,” was wide receiver Marques Colston’s take.
Saints fans were frustrated judging by social media and talk show phone calls by how a team can look so different the past two games and then seem as if they were a team without a clue the next. “I’m not going to say a step back,” is what safety Roman Harper had to say following the loss Sunday night. “At the end of the day we have to be able to get off the field and be able to make some plays defensively. We didn't make enough plays tonight.”
Mayor Mitch Landrieu's $491 million proposed budget for 2013, about $5 million less than the adopted 2012 budget, with average cuts of 8 to 10 percent citywide. Police, fire and EMS, however, will see budget increases of 5 to 10 percent.
"Cuts have consequences. And these cuts will hurt," he said. "We are always working to do more with less, but in many instances, we will have to do less with less."
To help boost revenue next year, Landrieu is proposing that City Council amend city code to allow the Sewerage and Water Board to cut off water services to customers who haven't paid sanitation fees for trash service. (Overdue sanitation fees have reportedly cost the city millions as well as repeatedly making the newspaper upset.) S&WB is now able to shut off water for failure to pay water bills but not the trash fee.
"You said you wanted more enforcement. I’m asking the city council for the authority to collect what is owed from people who will not pay," Landrieu said.
Landrieu has also proposed an additional 2 percent Entergy franchise fee to fund streetlight repairs.
(More after the jump)
"Who's ready for the greatest artist in this industry?"
That was Israeli dubstep producer giant Borgore, wrapping up his set at the 2012 Voodoo Experience and introducing his colleague Skrillex, who closed the Le Plur stage. Borgore let out an "Oh, fuck" when his question was answered with the loudest response of his entire set.
The crowd, mostly chain-smoking teenagers in sunglasses, pushed in and tripled in size. Double-fisting drinkers elbowed their way to a better viewing spot. A mustached man, easily the oldest guy there and wearing a serape and bandana, paced the crowd and announced he had "molly and mushrooms."
Nobody was buying — though I'm sure he found a few customers among the few thousand people gathered for Skrillex. But this being a stage sponsored by an energy drink, nobody needed anything — and judging by the guy behind me ("I've had like three Red Bulls"), who narrated his brain fart commentary aloud and into my ear, this was "the hottest thing right now."
Travel around the south Louisiana countryside and you’ll find a lot of car snack-ready boudin and you’ll see a lot of small, family-run farms. Now, there’s an outpost for both of them tucked away along an Uptown neighborhood.
The new butcher shop Cleaver & Co. opened last weekend with an inventory of meats procured from small farms and ranches from bayou country to the Cajun prairie, a range charcuterie made just behind the sales counter and a heap of hot boudin ready to eat on the spot.
It was previewed as a possible shootout between New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and Denver quarterback Peyton Manning. The story by game’s end however was that only one of the offenses clicked while the other was stuck in neutral as the Broncos won 34-14.
“There was way too much hype and not enough substance with me coming back last week," said assistant head coach Joe Vitt following the game. "I've got to do a better job of preparing our football team. I’ve got to do a better job of getting our football team ready physically, mentally and emotionally to play in a game like this. To be quite frank with you, there’s still stuff that I need to do better. I took a time out, I went for it in the first half on fourth down and are we prepared to take that shot without taking a time out? I should have went for it on fourth down in the third quarter, I didn't do it. I told our team to be prepared for that."
“That was a very poor performance on our part on third down. We were not able to sustain drives. We kept our defense out there for entirely too long," Brees said after the game. "I felt like you have to give their defense credit — they played well and made some plays, but overall I believe there were things that we did to ourselves in a lot of cases that prevented us from converting those.”
After selling 75 million albums with Eurythmics, Dave Stewart may not be used to playing to small crowds. About a couple hundred people gathered for his set on the Le Carnival stage. Living in Southern California seems to have rubbed off on him. He covered a Tom Petty song and then sang a tribute to Stevie Nicks. Stewart drew on Eurythmics hits for the final two songs, when he invited (as announced) the Soul Rebels on stage. The two bands had not performed together before, and barely did for the first song, a faithful rendition of "Would I Lie to You." The Soul Rebels were relegated to the back left corner of the stage and chimed in quietly. When Stewart started "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)," the Rebels were still at the back of the stage. Stewart went almost entirely through the song before stepping aside and letting the Soul Rebels come to the front and do their version, and finally both bands played it together, which worked rather well.
(Update: Stewart played "Don't Come Around Here No More," which in fact he cowrote with Tom Petty. I should have given him full credit for playing his own music.)
Another good set from a Southern California band came from Chicano Batman. Dressed in matching blue tux shirts, the group played Latin grooving rock, sometimes lounge-y, sometimes flirting with psychedelia. The lower-fi it went the better. The band is in town for several more shows before heading back west.
Austin, Texas rapper Zeale promised to freestyle rap with three words the audience provided. He got "cornucopia," "rigamaroo" and either "beast" or "peace," I wasn't sure, but he used both. As for rigamaroo, he said he had no idea what it meant but rhymed it anyway and moved on.
The Silversun Pickups sounded good if not monotone. Friday night, the band members went through the House of Shock, which apparently isn't just for metal bands.
Many braved a chilly day and waited out Metallica, which was sharp and extremely loud on well known material like "Master of Puppets." It had younger and older fans pumping their fists and barking the chorus, showing New Orleans has plenty of metal fans.
Super Bowl XLIV will long live in the minds of New Orleans Saints fans as it the day time the Black and Gold finally won a championship. It was also the last time the Saints faced quarterback Peyton Manning in a game.
A lot has happened since the 2009 season. Manning is no longer with the Indianapolis Colts as he is now the signal caller for Denver. The Saints have only been able to advance to the second round of the playoffs once and this season is dealing with the loss of coaches due to suspensions. Still, the excitement of a matchup once again between two high powered offenses facing off Sunday night in Denver is a national story line.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees has thrown for 1193 yards in the last three games combined to go with 11 touchdowns to just two interceptions. “Definitely the feel that you want during a game is that no matter what play is called, we are going to make it work and we have the opportunity to really make something happen,” says Saints quarterback Drew Brees. “Obviously there was that stretch last week, and the week before, and the week before, where we definitely had those moments for a prolonged period of time throughout the course of a game.”
Manning seems to be feeling much better about the offense as of late. Denver opened the season 1-2 with the former Colts QB tossing five touchdowns but three interceptions as well and a passer rating of 85.6. In the last three games, Manning has thrown for at least 300 yards while throwing three touchdowns in each of those games and thrown just one interception.
God's speed, Rodrigue
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