Hurricane Katrina

Friday, August 21, 2015

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
  • 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

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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
  • 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
  • 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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Friday, August 14, 2015

Chicago Tribune columnist: "What I was thinking"

Posted By on Fri, Aug 14, 2015 at 6:06 PM

Original online title: ""In Chicago, Wishing For A Hurricane Katrina."
  • Original online title: ""In Chicago, Wishing For A Hurricane Katrina."

Kristen McQueary, the Chicago Tribune editorialist who pissed off vast swaths of New Orleans, Chicago, and the Internet yesterday with her wish that a "Hurricane Katrina" would strike Chicago and clean up that city's "rot," has come back 24 hours later with a "what I meant to say" piece.

Here's what McQueary meant to say, according to her:
I used the hurricane as a metaphor for the urgent and dramatic change needed in Chicago: at City Hall, at the Chicago City Council, at Chicago Public Schools. Our school system is about to go bankrupt, and the city’s pension costs and other massive debts have squeezed out money for basic services.

I wrote what I did not out of lack of empathy, or racism, but out of long-standing frustration with Chicago’s poorly managed finances.
The original column, McQueary wrote, came after a Trib editorial board meeting with Mayor MItch Landrieu, who was in Chicago to talk about the city's recovery — and, presumably, the Katrina10 commemoration, which is designed to both memorialize the tragedy and put forward the city's best face at a time when we once again have the world's gaze.

In that sense, it's a PR campaign, which is fine; that's what a traveling mayor is for. But one hopes an editorial board at one of the country's most powerful newspapers would dig deeper than an elected official's political spin, and all McQueary seemed to carry away from the meeting was this:
Residents overthrew a corrupt government. A new mayor slashed the city budget, forced unpaid furloughs, cut positions, detonated labor contracts. New Orleans' City Hall got leaner and more efficient. Dilapidated buildings were torn down. Public housing got rebuilt. Governments were consolidated.

An underperforming public school system saw a complete makeover. A new schools chief, Paul Vallas, designed a school system with the flexibility of an entrepreneur. No restrictive mandates from the city or the state. No demands from teacher unions to abide. Instead, he created the nation's first free-market education system.

Hurricane Katrina gave a great American city a rebirth.
Unmentioned: billions of dollars in federal recovery money and insurance payouts, which had a lot to do with what progress we've made; bootstraps and volunteerism only goes so far. Dumping that kind of money into Chicago, even without a tragedy, would probably perk up things there as well.

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Chicago Tribune columnist wishes for a "Hurricane Katrina" to clean up Chicago

Posted By on Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 7:39 PM


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Well, that was a shitstorm — and we're not talking about the first few minutes of the New Orleans Saints' preseason game. A member of the Chicago Tribune editorial board is wishing for a "Hurricane Katrina" to strike and help clean up what she sees as her own corrupt city.

Kristen McQueary, who is an actual member of the Chicago Tribune's actual editorial board, met with Mayor Mitch Landrieu and somehow came away with the notion — well, I'm not sure what's more wrongheaded, that Katrina "fixed" things in New Orleans or that a Chicagoan would want the people of Chicago to go through something similar:

Envy isn't a rational response to the upcoming 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

But with Aug. 29 fast approaching and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu making media rounds, including at the Tribune Editorial Board, I find myself wishing for a storm in Chicago — an unpredictable, haughty, devastating swirl of fury. A dramatic levee break. Geysers bursting through manhole covers. A sleeping city, forced onto the rooftops.

Apparently it takes a Katrina (or, more accurately, a federal levee disaster) to clean up what McQueary calls Chicago's "rot." Not surprisingly, social media is going nuts in both cities. Is McQueary a troll, a cheap provocateur or just ... I dunno?

I've invited her to discuss the column over coffee when I'm in Chicago in early September. So: what about it, Kristen? I'm buying. I'll bring you beignet mix.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

DeRay Mckesson to deliver keynote speech at Rising Tide X

Posted By on Tue, Aug 4, 2015 at 10:00 AM

FACEBOOK/DERAY MCKESSON
  • FACEBOOK/DERAY MCKESSON


Rising Tide
, the annual bloggers' "conference on the history of New Orleans," will feature a keynote speech by civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson when it holds its 10th session Aug. 29 at Xavier University.  

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Solange to host Make it Right benefit Aug. 29

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2015 at 12:33 PM

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Singer and actress Solange will host a benefit for Brad Pitt's Make it Right foundation at House of Blues Aug. 29. The event also will feature as yet unnamed special guests. Tickets are on sale today.

Make it Right was founded in 2007 to build homes in New Orleans in areas destroyed by the federal floods following Hurricane Katrina. It expanded to address housing needs in other cities as well.

Solange Knowles, sister of Beyonce, was married in New Orleans in November 2014.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Atlantic announces the lineup for its Hurricane Katrina anniversary conference

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 2015 at 3:30 PM

Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, will be among the speakers and moderators at The Atlantic's "New Orleans: Ten Years Later" conference Aug. 24. - KEVIN ALLMAN
  • KEVIN ALLMAN
  • Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, will be among the speakers and moderators at The Atlantic's "New Orleans: Ten Years Later" conference Aug. 24.


It's a little bit Aspen, a little bit Davos and a little bit New Orleans: As part of the city's "Katrina10" events, The Atlantic will be holding "New Orleans: Ten Years Later," a conference with 19 announced speakers and moderators — "and more to be added over the coming weeks," the magazine announced today.

What's the thesis?
A decade later, New Orleans has been revived as brightly painted houses again line neighborhood streets, students too young to know life before Katrina attend state-of-the-art charter schools and a new generation of entrepreneurs descends on the city. Despite all of this progress, there is still much to be done and many looming issues to address. 
So who's coming to celebrate all this resilience? Start with Walter Isaacson, the New Orleans native, writer and head of The Aspen Institute. Add in Judith Rodin, president of The Rockefeller Foundation, and La June Montgomery Tabron, president of The W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu, of course, interviewed by Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic.

And then there's Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White; Kira Orange Jones, Executive Director of Teach For America Greater New Orleans-Louisiana Delta; and New Orleans education advisor Andre Perry. The local front also will be well-represented Baquet-wise, with The New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet, The Times-Picayune Director of Print Terry Baquet and Li'l Dizzy's owner Wayne Baquet.

The event will take place at the New Orleans Sheraton all day Mon. Aug. 24, with a full schedule to come later. Those interested in attending should contact the magazine at this link

Full release under the jump.

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