Came home from the grocery store this pm to a passed out waiter on my front lawn. Took my daughter and I 45 mins. to figure out who he was.— Mary B. Sonnier (@ChefMarySonnier) June 29, 2013
First it giveth, then it taketh away. Newspapers are dead and buried then return to a daily schedule. New Orleans Pelicans come and go within minutes. Prison donuts are a thing and likely will not be anymore. The right and left react to landmark decisions in Texas and D.C. A $100 brunch institution shuffles off this mortal coil. Service industry employees slumber in unusual ways. Governors — do they poop?
In this week's delayed edition of Y@ Speak (not what you expected, right?), New Orleans examines what is real, or really real, and whether they're, you know, cool about it. If not, one can always seek refuge in Target on the West Bank, where the celebrities go.
This website inadvertently turned into the city's archivist for Internet idiocy. Today's submission: Out's city guide for New Orleans, an alternate universe in which Plessy v. Ferguson was a Reagan-era triumph and a bar that opened last year saved the "unmoored" people of the 9th Ward — either the "end of the world" or "beginning of a new one."
I am the first person in the room to groan loudly at tired "dey stealin' our cultcha" bullshit, which often is just xenophobia wearing a Saints T-shirt, but this is just pure ignorance and insult. The self-righteous arguments over cultural preservation (that seemingly only take place on Twitter and not where it matters), as if it's a thing that can be jeopardized by whimsical cocktails, will likely have a field day with the Out piece, but for the wrong reasons.
It's not just about the major factual error in the New Orleans timeline. (It's just a typo, but still.) What irks me most about the whole "new New Orleans" mentality is how it remains blissfully unaware of the city as a whole. It falls for what they see as the city's seemingly detached sense of the world. I don't care what anyone does here, to be honest. Want to open your dream business selling vintage sex toys? Go for it, dude. Build a house that's a ball pit? Live the dream, my man. What irks me is dressing that up as some kind of agent of salvation. New Orleans needs saving pretty much 24 hours a day, and it's not up to someone's bathroom art project to do it. Don't let that stop you from doing it. But Out perpetuates the idea that New Orleans begins and ends in someone's fantastical idea of whatever neighborhood they moved into. In New Orleans, can "business" just be that, or is tied to "big important cultural moment"?
The plans were controversial at the time — comments surrounding New Orleans alt-weekly The Gambit's coverage range from praise for Booty's "salvation" of the neighborhood to criticism of "hipster pretense" pushing out natives — but Booty's has in short order become an anchor in a formerly unmoored neighborhood
If Out believes Booty's is somehow the savior of an "unmoored" neighborhood, I'd hate for them to tell me what Cure did for Uptown.
In #nola, the answer to almost any question can be answered with "alright"
— ablulu (@ablulu) June 6, 2013
This week, Y@ Speak revisits the inaugural #twitterprom and its graceful champions and also-rans, as well as the last gasps of the 2013 legislative session, punctuated by colorful and unnecessary signage, poor grammar, and a writer's return.
A bill filed this week by state Rep. Jerome "Dee" Richard, Independent of Thibodaux, and Sen. Rick Gallot, Democrat of Ruston, would repeal an exemption to the state Public Records Act called the "deliberative process privilege." The privilege protects deliberative (or pre-decisional) communications within the governor's office — though it's unclear just what is meant by "deliberative" and "governor's office."
The privilege has recently been applied to requests for (1A) records that were submitted after a state policy decision was made, (1B) records of communications that (arguably) themselves took place after a policy decision was made and (2) records from any executive agency, not just the Office of the Governor.
From our earlier coverage:
The News-Star attempted to confirm [Louisiana Department of Education Superintendent John] White's remarks by filing a public records request for internal DOE emails, specifically those "regarding phases included in the process for school approval for the Louisiana Scholarship program." A copy of the request was provided to Gambit by News-Star attorney William McNew.
The department did not hand over the requested emails.
After the paper published an editorial excoriating the state for its lack of transparency, White responded, claiming DOE was not obligated to produce the records because of something called the "deliberative process privilege," an exemption to the Louisiana Public Records Law that Jindal rammed through the Legislature in 2009 over the objections of the state's largest newspapers. White claimed in his letter that the privilege, which critics say applies only to the governor's office, "protects documents reflecting advisory opinions, recommendations and deliberations comprising part of a process by which governmental decisions and policies are formulated."
(More after the jump)
The Super Bowl Committee estimates more than 5,000 reporters arrived in New Orleans to cover Super Bowl XLVII. Today, buses unloaded them all, seemingly, into the Superdome for Media Day. Fans filled the lower bowl sideline to watch the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens host Q&A sessions with reporters, and reporters from all over the world get one-on-one with the players — attendees could tune in to free personal ear-clip radios to tune into each network or interview stage. Media Day opened to the public for the first time last year in Indianapolis.
Players sat back for an hour to wax philosophic on football, reflect on the season, answer boring questions or repeat answers to repeated questions, and get a little loose in a pre-game stress-free interview setting — or walk around among reporters and goof around on- and off-camera with the media.
Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis drew the wildebeest reporters to his crocodile trap of seemingly endless Ray Lewisms — "I have dreams. The outside world don't see those dreams. ... People ask why I'm so emotional" — while center Matt Birk confirmed his much-publicized stand against gay marriage: "I believe a marriage is between a man and a woman," and attributed his views to his Catholic background.
Government transparency watchdog organization Sunshine Review has released its first ever assessment of "proactive disclosure" on state, county, city and school district websites. Based on the group's 10-point transparency checklist — including current and archived budget information, contracts, lobbying activity and contact info for elected representatives — the state of Louisiana scores an overall C-plus, 33 out of 50 states for website transparency, just behind Montana. The top-ranked state was California. Nebraska scored the lowest.
Important to keep in mind: This study only scores government websites, which might not represent be Louisiana's most significant transparency problem. Also see this. And this. And this. There are more.
Of the three subcategories, Louisiana's state website scored the best, with a B-minus. Websites for the state's five largest parishes scored a C-plus, as did the five largest cities. The five largest school districts' websites scored lowest, with a D-plus.
Note: Sunshine Review's report does not say whether it counted Orleans Parish as a single district, as the state does in op-eds, or whether it only examined the Recovery School District, the larger of the two. If the former, it does not say if the website in question is the RSD website, which is hopefully a work in progress, the serviceable Orleans Parish School Board website or the ever-changing state Department of Education website.
Read the report: 2013_Transparency_Report_Card_1_.pdf
The recent shakeups and breakups under U.S. Attorney Jim Letten amid an online comment controversy caught the eyes at The New Yorker, where Jack Hitt gives the blow-by-blow in "How Forensic Linguistics Identified Online Trolls in New Orleans." Just how exactly did investigators nail down NOLA.com commenters Henry L. Mencken1951 and eweman as Sal Perricone and Jan Mann?
Here's the (brief) saga of James Fitzgerald, "forensic linguistics" specialist and the FBI agent who helped link the Unabomber to Ted Kaczynski.
And a tip from Hitt: "Heloise-like tip to newbie trolls: don’t create an anonymous handle that includes the year of your own birth (Henry L. Mencken1951) or one that contains a homonym of your own name (eweman)."
I'm with you NOLA!
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