Tuesday, January 31, 2017

"We’re called to serve the vulnerable": New Orleans responds to Trump's immigration order as refugee agencies face uncertain future

Posted By on Tue, Jan 31, 2017 at 7:00 PM

A protest outside City Hall Jan. 29 following a freeze on immigration and refugee entry. - KAT STROMQUIST
  • A protest outside City Hall Jan. 29 following a freeze on immigration and refugee entry.

A family with three children under 5 years old was expected to arrive in Louisiana this week from Syria, where the death toll of a six-year-old civil war has reached nearly 500,000 people. The family is one of 80 refugee families Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans (CCANO) expected to resettle into Louisiana this year. Following an immigration ban targeting majority-Muslim countries and freezing a refugee program, CCANO is likely not to receive any refugee families for at least the next four months, leaving their safety and future in the U.S. unclear as constitutional questions, nationwide protests and lawsuits challenge an executive order issued within Donald Trump's first week as President.

"Even if they are in a safe location, a refugee camp, to wait two and a half years — they go through a long, rigorous vetting process before they come here — to get to this point where a few days before your departure they tell you, ‘You can’t leave,’ said CCANO's Division Director Martin Gutierrez. "Imagine how disheartening that would be."

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Scientists and fishermen share Deepwater Horizon stories at Feb. 6 event

Posted By on Tue, Jan 31, 2017 at 1:08 PM

An aerial view of Grand Terre Shows leaked oil flowing up against a sand berm.
  • An aerial view of Grand Terre Shows leaked oil flowing up against a sand berm.

At a live storytelling event held Monday, Feb. 6, oceanographers, restoration ecologists and fishermen take the stage to share personal accounts of their experiences during the Deepwater Horizon disaster, when over 130 million gallons of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico in the largest spill in U.S. history. The show is sponsored by the Story Collider podcast, which organizes and records storytelling events related to science.

As President Donald Trump's public comments on energy continue to reflect a pro-drilling stance, events like this can highlight some of drilling's risks for coastal communities, including ongoing struggles for Gulf animals, fish and plants and an estimated $94.7 million cost to area commercial fishermen.

The free event takes place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Club XLIV and Encore at Champions Square. Registration is recommended.

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Monday, January 30, 2017

Y@ Speak: banned

Posted By on Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 7:30 PM

From "sanctuary cities" to "extreme vetting," New Orleans responds to Week One in the Trump Era.

Also: a new surveillance plan and "3 a.m." rule, King Cake Baby leans into the whole "giant monster" thing, and Jazz Fest flips its "people complaining about Jazz Fest" switch.

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Louis C.K., 'alternative facts,' a market for Marigny and other stories you may have missed this week

Posted By on Sun, Jan 29, 2017 at 9:00 AM


• FEST, FEST, FEST: The 2017 Jazz Fest lineup was announced. You people on Twitter had a few thoughts. And Aaron Neville is part of the just-announced French Quarter Fest lineup.

• COMING TO TOWN: Louis C.K. is coming to town this week for a couple of just-announced shows. The Pixies are coming later.

• LGBT NEWS: The LGBT Community Center is getting a new home. And a new eldercare group is launching a health care provider network for LGBT seniors.

• KRISPY KRUNCHY KING CAKE: Where you can eat king cake topped with crickets.

Lots more under the jump ...

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Friday, January 27, 2017

Edwards makes case to fix $304M mid-year budget shortfall

Posted By on Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 4:05 PM

Gov. John Bel Edwards and his fiscal staff discuss the state’s fiscal shortfall Friday with the joint legislative Committee on the Budget. - SAM KARLIN
  • Gov. John Bel Edwards and his fiscal staff discuss the state’s fiscal shortfall Friday with the joint legislative Committee on the Budget.

Gov. John Bel Edwards made his case Jan. 27 for combining the state’s “rainy day fund” and spending cuts to fix a $304 million mid-year budget shortfall, warning lawmakers that funding reductions will be “deep” and “painful” no matter what.

Edwards will unveil a specific plan to address the funding gap Feb. 6, but today he said he wants to protect K-12 education, the Department of Corrections and Department of Children and Family Services from budget cuts.

He will call the Legislature to a special session from Feb. 13-23 specifically to address the deficit.

“It’s an understatement to say there just aren’t any painless options left for us,” Edwards said. “It’s storming ... The idea that under these circumstances we wouldn’t use the rainy day fund for its express purpose doesn’t make any sense to me.”

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Landrieu, Brossett take on wage gap for women with new initiatives

Posted By on Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 6:47 PM

Landrieu in 2012.
  • Landrieu in 2012.

In a Jan. 25 ceremony attended by pay equity advocates and outspoken women's rights champions State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson and State Rep. Helena Moreno, Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed an executive order designed to combat equal pay issues for women who are employees of the City of New Orleans. Though the order applies to just one segment of local working women, it speaks to a persistent regional problem: Louisiana is regularly recognized as the state with the largest pay gap for women, with women earning 65 cents on the dollar to men's earnings. The gap is larger for women of color, who earn as little as 48 cents on the dollar statewide.

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Y@ Speak: sign of the times

Posted By on Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 7:20 PM

How was your weekend?

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Expel Sen. Troy Brown

Posted By on Fri, Jan 20, 2017 at 2:22 PM


State Sen. Troy Brown, a twice-convicted domestic abuser, is testing the limits of his colleagues’ tolerance. Brown, a Democrat from Assumption Parish, pleaded “no contest” to misdemeanor domestic abuse charges in Orleans and Assumption parishes within a period of four months.

A growing chorus of lawmakers (and Gov. John Bel Edwards) has called for Brown’s resignation — or expulsion — from the Senate. They make a convincing case, particularly in light of recently enacted anti-domestic violence legislation.

For his part, Brown is acting as if it was all a misunderstanding — with an alternate narrative that he’s already on the road to redemption. He does not make a convincing case.

There’s a separate plot line unfolding in the Senate, where Brown’s insouciant handling of the scandal is making his 38 colleagues increasingly uncomfortable. Historically the Senate, unlike the House, does not air its troubles in public. Senators show great respect and deference to one another, even if they don’t always agree.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

'Jazz funeral for Lady Liberty' leads morning protest Jan. 20

Posted By on Thu, Jan 19, 2017 at 2:35 PM

The Mahogany Brass Band. - COURTESY LJ GOLDSTEIN
  • The Mahogany Brass Band.

A weekend of protests and demonstrations begins Friday morning in New Orleans to mark what Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne called "the most ominous Inauguration Day in modern history." In keeping with that grave assessment, tomorrow's first protest — organized by activist group The Next Right Thing — will be headed up by a "jazz funeral for Lady Liberty," which features an effigy of Lady Liberty resting in a coffin. The Mahogany Brass Band will play traditional dirge and funereal songs.

The "funeral" will convene with other marchers outside Louis Armstrong Park at 10 a.m. to depart at 11 a.m. on the route that journeys from Rampart Street to Canal Street and then back down Peters Street toward the Moonwalk. There, Lady Liberty's coffin will be symbolically doused in the Mississippi River. One of the "funeral's" organizers, Randy Fertel, said the event was partially inspired by the Society of St. Anne's traditional Mardi Gras morning pilgrimage to the Mississippi. (LJ Goldstein and Conrad Martin also contributed to the organizing.)

Onlookers are encouraged to join the procession.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

On the Clock: Billy Mitchell, dairy plant manager

Posted By on Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 11:15 AM

Billy Mitchell mans his desk at the Dean Foods dairy processing plant.
  • Billy Mitchell mans his desk at the Dean Foods dairy processing plant.

It begins with a cow, or rather, many cows.

At a farm  —  usually outside of Dallas or in New Mexico, where many of Dean Foods’ farms are located  —  thousands of cows line up twice a day to be milked, their heavy udders releasing six to seven gallons of raw milk every day. 

That milking is the first step on a long and complex journey. Raw milk is stored on the farm in giant refrigerated silos; when the silo is full, tankers capable of hauling 5,600 gallons of milk at a time pull up, ready to be filled for the drive to Dean Foods’ dairy processing plant in Hammond. (Dean is the parent company of regional brands including Brown’s Dairy, as well as national brands such as TruMoo and DairyPure.) 

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