Saturday, October 29, 2016

Remembering Kevin Kane of the Pelican Institute for Public Policy

Posted By on Sat, Oct 29, 2016 at 10:06 PM


Some people can make a big difference without making a lot of noise. Such a man was Kevin Kane, founder and president of the Pelican Institute for Public Policy, who died of complications related to gastrointestinal cancer Oct. 27 at the too-young age of 50.

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Friday, October 28, 2016

"Make America Kait Again": a conversation with New Orleans comedian Kaitlin Marone, who is kind of running for U.S. Senate

Posted By on Fri, Oct 28, 2016 at 12:00 PM


"I thought about calling one of my platform points 'art school for everybody,'" says Kaitlin Marone, after thoroughly dissecting gender equality and police brutality and mulling over the idea of melting down all the guns. "The whole idea was going to be that everyone deserves to get a frivolous degree, and we should actually fund the arts, and art criticism, and research, and we should be into that. What's the point of being a group of beings on the Earth if we're not going to try new things?"

So that's what she did. In the grand New Orleans tradition of "protest" candidates led by comedians, Marone, party of none, is running for office for the very first time by entering a U.S. Senate race that has attracted two dozen people vying for the seat of outgoing Sen. David Vitter. Microwaved white supremacist David Duke unfortunately attracted enough attention to get into a debate let alone the actual ballot. Marone only sort of jokingly says she hopes to at least beat him.

She performs every Wednesday with the improv troupe Dean's List and co-hosts the Saturday stand-up comedy showcase Go Ahead, both at The New Movement. Dean's List will host her election night party.

Gambit: Why did you decide to do this?

Marone: I'd been making a lot of jokes about running for president. People kept saying to me, "I would vote for you." I was having a conversation with somebody about what to do about police brutality — and we were very drunk — and we decided the only path was to get into government. That was it. That was what we could do. I decided to look into what the upcoming races were. I guess I knew David Vitter was [leaving], but it didn't occur to me we would have to elect someone new, which of course we have to do. Then I thought, "If I don't know this election is happening, and it's for the [U.S.] Senate, then I bet a lot of people don't, and a lot of people aren't going to."

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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


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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Monday, October 17, 2016

Louisiana Public Broadcasting to air live U.S. Senate debate Oct. 18

Posted By on Mon, Oct 17, 2016 at 4:05 PM


Confused by the 24 names on the ballot for the Nov. 8 Senate race? The Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) and Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) will be hosting a 90-minute debate tomorrow night with the five candidates who met LPB-CABL's criteria.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Y@ Speak: the deadline to register to vote in Louisiana is Oct. 11

Posted By on Mon, Oct 10, 2016 at 7:41 PM

In this week's edition of an election cycle in which candy must clarify its positions on refugees and sexual assault: Louisiana officials denounce Trump's comments (but not Trump) and we watched some "debates." Meanwhile: LSU thought it could take on a hurricane, and Mike Yenni won't step down despite many calls to do so after inappropriate and likely illegal sexual behavior. Sounds familiar!

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Y@ Speak: "divine intervention"

Posted By on Mon, Oct 3, 2016 at 7:00 PM

The Saints celebrate their first win of the season only to stare into the abyss of 12 very long weeks ahead. Meanwhile, the streets are caving in, again. Suck in that sweet, sweet autumn air and wipe away those tears from your overdrawn eye black for this week's edition.

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Friday, September 30, 2016

Gov. Edwards sues AG Landry over LGBT protections

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2016 at 6:00 PM

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry rejected more than 30 state contracts because of LGBT protections. Gov. John Bel Edwards's lawsuit asks the court to get Landry to do his job. - CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry rejected more than 30 state contracts because of LGBT protections. Gov. John Bel Edwards's lawsuit asks the court to get Landry to do his job.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry rejected more than 30 state contracts because he refuses to follow an executive order from Gov. John Bel Edwards protecting LGBT employees of the state as well as contractors and their employees. In a lawsuit Edwards filed in Judicial District Court Sept. 30, Edwards argues Landry "explicitly" rejected the contracts including those protections, in accordance with Edwards' executive order, and that Landry "apparently believes that it is necessary that private attorneys who contract with entities within the executive branch must retain the right to discriminate against the persons on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity."

In April, Edwards issued an executive order to protect LGBT employees of the state and state contractors and their employees from workplace discrimination, creating the first statewide protections for transgender people. Previous legislative efforts to include LGBT protections in nondiscrimination laws have failed. There still are no statewide nondiscrimination laws protecting all LGBT people.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Y@ Speak: debatable

Posted By on Mon, Sep 26, 2016 at 6:38 PM

Remember 20 years ago when you tweeted about Disney's gumbo recipe? This week's edition spans a little longer than usual because we missed you last week. But this past week? I don't have enough fingers to chef kiss. David Duke looked like the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Beyonce and Big Freedia are the only people that New Orleans fans are happy about playing in the Superdome so far this month, and we begin the inaugural Complaining About the Fried Chicken Festival.

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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Louisiana musician Buckwheat Zydeco dies at 68

Posted By on Sat, Sep 24, 2016 at 2:22 PM

Buckwheat Zydeco. - DRAGON TASLC
  • Buckwheat Zydeco.
Louisiana musician Buckwheat Zydeco died early this morning at the age of 68, according to his longtime manager Ted Fox. Zydeco, aka Stanley Dural Jr., had been suffering from lung cancer and unable to perform for most of 2016. Recently his Carencro home had been damaged in the August floods, according to Fox.

"Buck made everything and everyone he touched better and happier," Fox wrote on Dural's Facebook page. "RIP my dear friend, my brother."

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