Hurricane Katrina

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The only music I listened to after Katrina was a New Orleans punk band

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 4:00 PM

I packed two clear Sterilite boxes full of CDs in the trunk of my two-toned "Champagne" Toyota Camry. That's the most 2005 sentence I can think of, but I wish daily that I had used that space to pack something that wasn't completely obsolete (and mostly unimportant — no, I did not need to bring every badly scratched mix CD with Bad Company and Foghat songs that live on the radio until the end of time). I made a last-minute decision to take my car with me to Mississippi instead of leaving it in my parents' driveway in Slidell. I also packed sweaters. In August. (All of this is a lot funnier if you consider that, for most of us, we thought we'd be gone for a week at most, so in that sense, I was way over prepared. Something I learned over the last 10 years is "how to pack like a human being.")

The CDs never left my trunk, and my car didn't leave a friend's driveway in Mississippi. My 1996 Camry wasn't likely to make the drive to Birmingham, Alabama, where I'd stay for the next month or so. I took one CD with me: The Ghostwood's Development. If my car stayed in Slidell, it would've floated to the other side of town or onto a brown pile of everything from inside the house where I grew up.

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What does "resilience" mean? In new plan, it drives disaster preparedness

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 2:30 PM


Resilience: "the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens."

FEMA director Craig Fugate said he loves the word because it means whatever you want it to mean.

And if you've been paying attention over the last couple of weeks, you'd think he was right. "Resilience" has replaced similar words, or been used in sentences where it didn't necessarily need to appear, to define the City of New Orleans' philosophy as it prepares for the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the federal levee failures. Mayor Mitch Landrieu has planted his "resilience" seed (or some form of it — "resilient," "resiliency") in speeches throughout his terms as mayor. (And if you're keeping score at home, you can add "vibrant," "new Orleans" and "NOLA for Life" to Landrieu's list.) The word has seemingly grown into a jungle of word salads with business lingo and jargon-y nothing phrases that have taken over dozens of panels, events and speeches this week. Its overuse implied it not only didn't mean anything but that there wasn't anything to be "resilient" about. But the word now defines a plan that the city will look to over the next decade and beyond.

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Y@ Speak: Ten Years Gone

Posted By on Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 1:20 PM

As New Orleans nears the 10th anniversary of The Complete And Abject Federal Levee Failures of 2005 and every news outlet on the planet serves up heaps of hot takes, let's look at how y'all are getting the led out. Also: The New Orleans Saints don't completely blow it this time and (not) Bobby Jindal unveils his latest campaign vid.

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Atlantic conference discusses "New Orleans: Ten Years Later" after Hurricane Katrina

Posted By on Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 11:32 AM

Mayor Mitch Landrieu, left, being interviewed by The Atlantic national correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg.
  • Mayor Mitch Landrieu, left, being interviewed by The Atlantic national correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg.

This week will see dozens of events related to the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the federal floods, and today saw one of the biggest — The Atlantic's "New Orleans: Ten Years Later" conference at the Sheraton New Orleans. 

After an introduction by The Atlantic's editor in chief James Bennet, Gwen Ifill of PBS News Hour introduced writer/filmmaker Lolis Eric Elie, New Orleans native and national student poet Madeleine LeCesne, VAYLA executive director Minh Nguyen, writer Chris Rose, former City Councilman Oliver Thomas and Tracie Washington of the Louisiana Justice Center. 

Washington had the crowd's attention, questioning the city's recovery pointing out that 50 percent of black children in the city live in poverty — more than before the storm —  adding that special needs children are being ignored in the New Orleans school system. She also took exception to "resilient," which has emerged as the buzzword du jour of Katrina recovery. "I'm not resilient," she said, scoffing. “I have a right not to be resilient!”

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Friday, August 21, 2015

The New Orleans Exercist, K10 edition

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2015 at 5:59 PM

click image Guitar guy calls this pose "the Freddie Mercury." - FACEBOOK/K10 ON THE LEVEE
  • Guitar guy calls this pose "the Freddie Mercury."

Each week this summer, the New Orleans Exercist brings you news and events for active living in the Big Easy. Giving back is supposed to feel good, but it feels even better with a yoga class, a road race and a bouldering session in the deal. Next week's 10 anniversary of Hurricane Katrina has a few options for charity fitness events.

Plus: a new class at oddly named yoga studio “NOLA Brewing," Gentilly gets a spinning studio and the eternal pre-workout coffee conundrum.

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Monday "Katrina at 10" panel: How did local culture fare?

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2015 at 2:07 PM

The Hot 8 Brass Band. Founder Bennie Pete will be on an Aug. 24 panel discussing changes in the city's cultural scene since the storm and the flood. - SHAWN COLIN
  • The Hot 8 Brass Band. Founder Bennie Pete will be on an Aug. 24 panel discussing changes in the city's cultural scene since the storm and the flood.

Many, if not most, people assume that New Orleans’ rich culture survived Hurricane Katrina more or less intact, perhaps because local music clubs and other cultural institutions have returned. But the torchbearers of local culture themselves — the musicians, artists, Mardi Gras Indians and others — often tell a different story.

The Crescent City Cultural Continuity Conservancy (C5) will present a two-hour panel discussion Monday, Aug. 24, on the state (and future) of New Orleans culture 10 years after Katrina. “Ten Years After: the State of New Orleans Music and Culture” starts at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at Basin Street Station, 501 Basin St.

The announcement from C5 is under the jump.

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bush, Clinton visits added to Hurricane Katrina 10th anniversary events

Posted By on Thu, Aug 20, 2015 at 1:09 PM

Yesterday it was announced President Barack Obama would be coming to New Orleans Aug. 27 to tour the city on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Now former President George W. Bush and former President Bill Clinton will be coming to New Orleans next week as well to participate in some of the commemoration ceremonies.

Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush will visit Warren Easton Charter School Aug. 28 for an education round table discussion, at which the former president also will offer remarks. Clinton will come to the "Power of Community" event Aug. 29 at Smoothie King Center, the city's main event in the weeklong Katrina commemoration. Faith leaders and many New Orleans musicians will perform, and journalist Soledad O'Brien will host. The event is open to the public and free, and organizers say tickets are available at city libraries, or can be reserved via the city's website.

These are only two of many events — official and unofficial — going on next week as part of the Katrina commemoration. Our list of community events is here, and under the jump is the city's list of official events, and how you can attend.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Atlantic announces full schedule for its "New Orleans: Ten Years Later" symposium

Posted By on Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 4:58 PM

Ten of the dozens of speakers scheduled to address the crowd at "New Orleans: Ten Years Later." - THE ATLANTIC
  • Ten of the dozens of speakers scheduled to address the crowd at "New Orleans: Ten Years Later."

The Atlantic has announced the complete schedule for "New Orleans: Ten Years Later," a daylong symposium to be held Aug. 24 at the Sheraton New Orleans.

It's an ambitious program, with 15 separate panels and several dozens speakers in less than 8 hours. Among those scheduled to address the group: Mayor Mitch Landrieu, New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison, former City Councilman Oliver Thomas, Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White, Rising Tide author John Barry, Michael Hecht of Greater New Orleans Inc. and Cherice Harrison-Nelson, curator of the Mardi Gras Indians Hall of Fame.

The panels are free and open to the public, and some tickets still are available as of Aug. 19. Register here. Full schedule under the jump.

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Obama will make New Orleans visit for Katrina anniversary

Posted By on Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 10:30 AM

President Barack Obama in New Orleans in 2013. - JEANIE RIESS
  • President Barack Obama in New Orleans in 2013.

President Barack Obama will visit New Orleans on Aug. 27 to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the federal levee failures. In 2010, for the fifth anniversary of the storm, Obama told a crowd at Xavier University that Katrina was a "natural disaster but also a man-made catastrophe — a shameful breakdown in government that left countless men, women and children abandoned and alone." (That 2010 trip also included his famous visit to Parkway Bakery for a po-boy.)

According to a statement from the White House, Obama's visit next week includes talks with Mayor Mitch Landrieu and trips to several neighborhoods speaking with residents. He'll deliver his remarks "on the region’s rebirth and what’s possible when citizens, city and corporate leaders all work together to lift up their communities and build back in ways that make them more innovative and positioned for economic growth."

Obama's last visit to New Orleans used the Port of New Orleans for his pitch for infrastructure investments and job creation.

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Y@ Speak: metaphorically speaking

Posted By on Mon, Aug 17, 2015 at 2:17 PM

Hey, you heard of this Hurricane Katrina? Did you know someone "metaphorically" wished it happened to them, too? As we ride this roller coaster of nightmarish nostalgia toward Aug. 29, let's look back at a week of online rage and one of the ultimate backpedaling "well, actually" non-apologies of our time. Also: Confederate monuments offer some delightful debate and the New Orleans Saints are, um, fine.

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