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Thursday, December 15, 2016

On the Clock: Amanda Pumilia, humane law enforcement manager

Posted By on Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Amanda Pumilia reaches out to a dog on a call.
  • Amanda Pumilia reaches out to a dog on a call.


On a lumpy residential street in the 7th Ward, Amanda Pumilia and I pull over in the toaster-shaped fiberglass van and mobile kennel driven by humane law enforcement officers in New Orleans. A chicken saunters across the street as Pumilia peers into the rugged laptop mounted beside the driver’s seat and frowns.

We’re here to investigate an alleged dog bite case, and Pumilia rattles off the details to me: a blue house, two dogs, a man walking on the sidewalk, a bite to the face. In the picture she shows me, there’s a shallow laceration on the man’s chin.

“Bite cases get a little hinky,” she tells me, on our way to the scene. “Every time an animal bites a person, there’s a rabies quarantine that’s supposed to happen … even though the threat of rabies is minor, it’s still there.”

As Pumilia looks around, a problem becomes apparent: there’s no blue house. But nearby, we can hear the telltale woof-woof of several dogs.

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Gambit TV: Entertainment picks for Dec. 9-11

Posted By and on Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 2:42 PM

Gambit music commentator Noah Bonaparte Pais visits WWL-TV to break down your weekend: gypsy punk and Dada at the Music Box Village, Afghan Whigs, an award-season favorite movie and more.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Activists talk organizing in New Orleans at roundtable/book release Saturday

Posted By on Wed, Dec 7, 2016 at 1:02 PM

Flaherty's book discusses collaborative organizing. - COURTESY JORDAN FLAHERTY
  • COURTESY JORDAN FLAHERTY
  • Flaherty's book discusses collaborative organizing.

Community Book Center
 hosts a roundtable of experienced activists and organizers this weekend at a release party for No More Heroes: Grassroots Challenges to the Savior Mentality, a new book by Jordan Flaherty.

Flaherty joins Alfred Marshall (STAND with Dignity), Michael Quess? Moore (Take 'Em Down NOLA), Jonshell Johnson (a youth and education activist) and Derek Roguski (New Teachers' Roundtable) to discuss organizing against police violence, their work in New Orleans' troubled school system and overcoming the "savior mentality," in which a well-meaning individual — often a white person — tries to "rescue" a marginalized group without community input. (Think Dangerous Minds.)

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Shots 4 Shots free flu shot clinic returns to Frenchmen Street Nov. 29

Posted By on Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 10:40 AM

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Musicians, bartenders and other hospitality workers can receive free flu shots at the second annual Shots 4 Shots clinic, presented by Tales of the Cocktail and the New Orleans Musician's Clinic & Assistance Foundation (NOMAF). The shots are available at d.b.a. and Snug Harbor from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29.

The event aims to crack down on the spread of flu via hospitality and entertainment workers, who are often uninsured or underinsured and frequently have to work when they're sick.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

On the Clock: Rodney Thomas, Harrah's New Orleans Casino table games dealer

Posted By on Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 2:11 PM

Rodney Thomas deals table games at Harrah's New Orleans Casino.
  • Rodney Thomas deals table games at Harrah's New Orleans Casino.

At 12:45 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon, Rodney Thomas is dealing roulette. Three men  —  one with a Budweiser, one with a brown cocktail in a plastic cup  —  are saddled up in the chairs surrounding the felt-covered table, clearly having a far better time than anyone is generally entitled to on weekdays. Though Thomas just stepped up to the table a few minutes ago, relieving another dealer who was on duty, he’s already formed a bond with the guys. He says something that makes them break up in guffawing, backslapping laughter, before they turn their attention to the table's grid of worn-in numbers, ready to stack their chips in enigmatic patterns.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

On the Clock: Troy Delaney, steamboat Natchez pilot

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 8:41 AM

Steamboat pilot Troy Delaney in the pilot house (sometimes called the wheelhouse).
  • Steamboat pilot Troy Delaney in the pilot house (sometimes called the wheelhouse).


Like Prince once said, there’s joy in repetition. Think of a chef, working the line in his restaurant night after night; a chess master, reaching to select a pawn for her first move; a basketball player shooting free throw after free throw on an empty court. Repetition is the key to mastery, “flow,” the elusive art of moving without thinking. 

That’s what I think about, sitting with pilot Troy Delaney in the glass-windowed pilot house of the steamboat Natchez, little wavelets crumpling the river’s surface way below us. Delaney has been steering the Natchez for 12 years, working five days a week, making three voyages a day. Even considering the month or so the boat spends in “lay-up,” when it stops service for painting and other maintenance, that’s as many as 720 trips over the course of a year, making the run downriver toward Chalmette Battlefield, where the Natchez turns around, and back.

Delaney knows everything about the boat and almost as much about the glassy bends of the river. Together, they form a tranquil kingdom he takes pride in leading.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Affordable housing exhibit pops up at Tulane City Center

Posted By on Wed, Oct 19, 2016 at 5:00 PM

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As chatter about Airbnb, gentrification and volatile rental markets flies fast and thick, a new exhibit at the Tulane School of Architecture's Tulane City Center/Small City Center (1725 Baronne St.) examines affordable housing issues in New Orleans. 

Rather than focusing on what makes the city unusual or exceptional, this exhibit places local housing challenges in a broader national and international context. 

“There are many ways New Orleans suffers from, and rises to, the same challenges as many other cities,” center public programs manager Sue Mobley says. “(Calling it exceptional creates) a write-off of learning from others.”

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Free eye exams and glasses offered in New Orleans this week

Posted By on Tue, Oct 11, 2016 at 3:49 PM

click image CREATIVE COMMONS/KEN TEEGARDIN
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/KEN TEEGARDIN

Free, comprehensive eye exams and prescription glasses are available to eligible patients at two locations in the city this week. 

A press release from the City of New Orleans announced the program, which is a partnership between the city and Eyes of Hope's VSP Mobile Eyes mobile eyecare clinics. Patients can go to the Sanchez Multi-Purpose Center (1616 Caffin Ave.) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday and the Rosenwald Recreation Center (1120 S. Broad St.) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday for exams, which will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.

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On the Clock: Waymon Morris, Carousel Gardens director of recreational services

Posted By on Tue, Oct 11, 2016 at 9:58 AM

Waymon Morris takes a break to drive the train at Carousel Gardens Amusement Park.
  • Waymon Morris takes a break to drive the train at Carousel Gardens Amusement Park.


Waymon Morris and I sit on the bench-style conductor’s seat as the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park train pulls out of the station, into the dappled lawns and mossy shade of New Orlean City Park. The engine rattles crazily underneath us, like a piece of high-powered farm equipment or someone’s fixer-upper car that hasn’t yet been blessed with a muffler. Morris points to the timer on the rudimentary dashboard, which helps drivers know if they’re keeping pace with the train’s typical runtime, and pulls the shrill whistle, warning any wandering toddlers, errant ducks or distracted drivers of our approach on the 2-mile track. From the conductor’s perch, the whistle is so loud it could pop an eardrum, but literally everyone we pass  —  infants in Baby Bjorns, picnickers, a grandma out for a stroll with her Shih Tzus  —  smiles and waves. 

“I don’t care how old you are,” Morris half-confides, over the chuff and rumble of the engine. “Everyone loves the train.”

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Five books events to check out in October

Posted By on Mon, Oct 3, 2016 at 11:30 AM

CREATIVE COMMONS/SOMEGEEKINTN
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/somegeekintn

Along with crisp, autumnal 80 degree weather, this fall brings a full slate of activities for local readers, writers and other word enthusiasts.

Here are five best bets for book nerds in October. 

• Oct. 5: Ethan Brown. The true crime writer presents his latest page-turner, Murder in the Bayou: Who Killed the Women Known as the Jeff Davis Eight? at Garden District Book Shop. (Check out Gambit's interview with Brown.) 6 p.m.

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