Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Remembering Bill O'Reilly and his Hurricane Katrina remarks

Posted By on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 2:00 PM

  • Bill O'Reilly.
In the long list of inane — not to mention assholic — remarks made by political pundits following Hurricane Katrina and the federal floods, those of now-former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly surely make the Top 10:
Many, many, many of the poor in New Orleans are in that condition [dependency]. They weren't going to leave no matter what you did. They were drug-addicted. They weren't going to get turned off from their source. They were thugs, whatever. ... It's the absence of personal responsibility, which the government can not force you to be responsible, not in a free society.

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Haspel's Laurie Haspel Aronson talks seersucker, tradition and innovation

Posted By on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 11:00 AM

The Haspel factory as it once stood on the corner of Broad Street and St. Bernard Avenue. - PHOTO COURTESY OF HASPEL
  • Photo courtesy of Haspel
  • The Haspel factory as it once stood on the corner of Broad Street and St. Bernard Avenue.

In 1909, Joseph Haspel Sr. opened Haspel, a textile factory specializing in lightweight men’s suits. Haspel — known colloquially as “the Factory” by neighbors and workers — was located at the intersection of Broad St. and St. Bernard Ave. until production moved to Tylertown, Mississippi, where it stayed until the brand was bought out by the Palm Beach Company in the late 1970s.

Joseph Haspel saw a niche in the market for manufacturing suits that could withstand the heat and the humidity of the New Orleans summertime — suits for working men of all color collars. He once famously went for a swim in the Atlantic Ocean, fully clothed in one of his suits to demonstrate its ability to withstand moisture. Reportedly, he hung the suit up to dry, and threw it back on for an evening engagement. The suit retained its silhouette, and Haspel was on the fashion map.

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Review: Conspiracies and Surrounding Circumstances

Posted By on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 10:42 AM

Eva and Skip, Augsburg 1958, by Ruth Owens
  • Eva and Skip, Augsburg 1958, by Ruth Owens

Families can be wonderful, but they also are mysterious. Complex truths often unfold slowly, especially where children are concerned. New Orleans plastic surgeon and artist Ruth Owens was born in Augsburg, Germany in 1959 to a young German woman and a black American GI, and her new paintings in the show Conspiracies at Barrister's Gallery were inspired by childhood memories and old photos.

Rendered in loose, expressionistic brushstrokes, most convey the warmth of her supportive home life, yet ironic contrasts abound. Eva and Skip, Augsburg, 1958, portrays her parents on a date. It is touching yet crackles with the 20th-century psychic intensity of German movies by maestros like Josef von Sternberg and, especially, Rainer Fassbinder.

In Eva, Ruth and Bubi, Augsburg, 1964, a confident blondish woman is walking a black dog with her cute, bronze-tone daughters — an ordinary scene rife with complex, resonant nuances. In Sarah, Fasching, 1980, a tawny little girl wearing a crown and a long white gown appears with two German-looking kids in a Bavarian carnival pageant, a scene as dreamlike as a fairy tale. Eva reappears as a ghostly sculpture with a pale, spindly hound in White Specter, Owens’ most direct reference to race as a haunting, pervasive presence, a deeply human paradox that even the most accomplished among us must navigate.

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New Orleans Political Woman Forum April 25 takes on the "glass ceiling"

Posted By on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 10:20 AM

State Rep. (and upcoming New Orleans City Council candidate) Helena Moreno.
  • State Rep. (and upcoming New Orleans City Council candidate) Helena Moreno.

A panel April 25 hosted by Voters East of the Industrial Canal (VEOTIC) focuses on women's issues in politics, including political literacy, gender gaps in voting and overall women's rights. The event is notable for its guest list, which includes every female member of the current New Orleans City Council (councilwomen Nadine M. Ramsey, Stacy Head, Susan G. Guidry and newly declared mayoral candidate LaToya Cantrell), plus State Rep. Helena Moreno, who will run for the council seat being vacated by Stacy Head. Veteran organizer Timolynn Sams Sumter moderates the discussion.

Political involvement and activism led by women is fast becoming a powerful force in both local and national politics, particularly on the left. A recent Slate article credits the surprise success of dark horse Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff, who will advance to a runoff to represent Georgia's historically-Republican Sixth District, to women organizing on his behalf. The organization EMILY'S List, which supports progressive women as political candidates, has reported a dramatic uptick in the number of women who have reached out to express interest in running for office. These are encouraging signs for proponents of women's rights in Louisiana, where women have historically been underrepresented in the legislature and beyond.

The event, which takes place at St. Maria Goretti Church Community Center, begins at 6:30 p.m. It's free to attend.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

New Orleans Cat Art & Film Festival is May 20

Posted By on Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 9:05 PM

Felis catus, the star of the internet. - CREATIVE COMMONS/ANDREW SKUDDER
  • Felis catus, the star of the internet.

If the universe is made of stars, the internet is made of cats — hence the popularity that's led to the third annual New Orleans Cat Art & Film Festival, which will be held at the Delgado City Park Student Life Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 20.

The event will feature internet cat videos (of course), "feline art" (presumably made my humans, not cats), jewelry, live music, food and drink, workshops by the Louisiana SPCA, adoptable cats, a kids' area and more. Proceeds benefit the LA/SPCA and Art for Cats' Sake.

Tickets are $5-$25 in advance. For more information or to submit your own cat film, visit the event website.
Location Details Delgado Community College
Delgado Community College
615 City Park Ave.
New Orleans, LA
(504) 671-5012

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Bill would raise gasoline tax by 17 cents a gallon across Louisiana

Posted By on Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 6:19 PM


As he had promised, State Rep. Steve Carter, R-Baton Rouge, filed House Bill 632 today, which would increase Louisiana’s gas tax by 17 cents per gallon and raise an estimated $510 million annually for the state’s highways and bridges.

Off the floor, Carter said, “Across Louisiana, our infrastructure is crumbling. The citizens of this state are sick of being stuck in traffic, and they want bold solutions that improve safety, quality of life and economic productivity, which this bill provides.”

Louisiana motorists now are paying 38.4 cents per gallon, including 20 cents in state taxes.

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Caravan Stage Company to present Nomadic Tempest May 10-20

Posted By on Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 3:33 PM

Caravan Stage performs Nomadic Tempest.
  • Caravan Stage performs Nomadic Tempest.

Caravan Stage Company
travels the world's waterways and presents shows dockside. The company's last visit to the New Orleans area was in 2013, when it spent several months developing a pirate-themed show in Lafitte before moving to Florida to finish the production and begin its tour.

Caravan returns to New Orleans May 10-20 to present Nomadic Tempest at Pontchartrain Landing. The show combines theater, aerialist and acrobatic arts, video and light projection and more. The boat deck serves as a stage and the mast and riggings are used for aerialist work. Nomadic Tempest is a story about four Monarch butterflies displaced by global warming.

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Proposed changes for Louisiana animal shelters move to the full state Senate

Posted By on Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 3:13 PM

Pups clamor for attention at the LA/SPCA. - CHERYL GERBER
  • Pups clamor for attention at the LA/SPCA.

Save the washable markers and cardstock. The days of “Missing Dog” posters may become a faint memory for Louisiana youngsters.

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture, and Rural Development on Tuesday moved to recommend to the full Senate two bills, one authorizing animal shelters to post pictures of animals on a social media account or website, and the other setting regulations governing the operation of animal shelters and training of personnel.

Sen. Ryan Gatti, R-Bossier City, who authored Senate Bill 64, said the idea to authorize posting pictures of missing animals came up after talking to an array of pet-owning constituents “from all walks of life.”

“Social media is free, and you can set up a page for just about anything,” Gatti said.

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Feminist writer Roxane Gay appears in New Orleans July 12

Posted By on Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 11:50 AM


Roxane Gay, the prominent feminist writer, cultural critic and pre-eminent voice of Woke Twitter, will appear at Octavia Books July 12 on a book tour for her new book Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. The much-anticipated book is expected to discuss body and food issues from the author's uniquely candid perspective. (If you aren't familiar with her work, try her periodic contributions to the New York Times op-ed page for an introduction to her thoughts on race and womanhood.)

This is a ticketed reading and participants must purchase a copy of the book to attend the event. More details are available via the bookstore's event announcement. Copies of the book are $25.99.

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Why do drug deaths eclipse murders in New Orleans? Xavier panel to discuss addiction and "truth behind the numbers"

Posted By on Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 11:00 AM


Drug overdose-related deaths eclipsed murders for the first time in New Orleans last year, prompting the coroner's office to remind the city of its "accelerating public health crisis." Coroner Jeffrey Rouse recorded 211 drug-related deaths in 2016, when there were 175 murders.

Of those 211 drug deaths, 166 involved opiates — compared to 81 in 2015. The synthetic opioid fentanyl also was involved in 48 deaths last year. There were 13 fentanyl-related deaths in 2015, when the city recorded 93 drug-related deaths overall.

On April 20, a panel of doctors and health care experts will discuss the "Truth Behind the Numbers: Why Overdose Deaths Have Surpassed Homicides in Louisiana" at Xavier University. The talk hopes to "change the conversation around addiction as a moral failing, and promote the fact that addiction is a chronic disease."

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