New Orleans Life

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Surrounded by gravestones, protesters speak out in favor of Affordable Care Act

Posted By on Sat, Jan 28, 2017 at 2:18 PM

Father Fred Kammer of Jesuit Social Research Institute opened and closed the protest. - KAT STROMQUIST
  • KAT STROMQUIST
  • Father Fred Kammer of Jesuit Social Research Institute opened and closed the protest.

Before the  Affordable Care Act (ACA), schoolteacher Alaina Comeaux viewed age 25 as a death sentence.

That's the age when she would be ousted from her parents' insurance and forced to try and find insurance on the private market to cover her treatments for Crohn's disease and ankylosing spondylitis. One treatment she receives as many as eight times a year costs $21,000 — per session.

"My doctor actually tried to hide my diagnosis from insurance companies for more than a year," she said. "[Without regulations related to the ACA] I'd go bankrupt pretty quickly. ... It's pretty hopeless."

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Friday, January 27, 2017

LGBT Community Center hosts reopening party Feb. 1

Posted By on Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 5:19 PM

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The LGBT Community Center of New Orleans (2727 S. Broad St.), the 24-year-old organization supporting the needs of local LGBT people, hosts a grand reopening party Feb. 1. District B Councilmember LaToya Cantrell leads a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. Wednesday immediately followed by a Champagne reception. Then there's a party at 7 p.m. with music and refreshments.

The day's events will highlight the group's new database of LGBT resources, including legal and medical contacts, and its renewed mission of "inclusion and community integration."

"We're proud of what we've accomplished, but know there is so much more to do," board president Sebastian Rey said in a statement. "With the community's support, [we will] build a stronger, more connected LGBT New Orleans."

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

LGBT elder-care group NOAGE kicks off health care provider network Jan. 26

Posted By on Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 1:58 PM

NOAGE staffers and volunteers walk in the Southern Decadence parade. - COURTESY JIM MEADOWS
  • COURTESY JIM MEADOWS
  • NOAGE staffers and volunteers walk in the Southern Decadence parade.

America is graying. In the next 20 years, the population of seniors ages 65 and older is expected to nearly double as the Baby Boomers reach retirement age and advancements in health care extend life expectancies. As demographics shift, seniors are sure to take center stage in discussions about health care and social services — including the needs of unique constituencies, such as seniors who identify as LGBT.

According to New Orleans Advocates for GLBT Elders (NOAGE) executive director Jim Meadows, an estimated 20,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans seniors live in the Greater New Orleans area. Many of them aren't getting what they need from their doctors, therapists and social workers. On Thursday, Jan. 26, NOAGE launches Greater New Orleans LGBT Elders Provider Network to help heath care professionals better serve this population.

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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

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How was your weekend?

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Newcomb Art Museum archiving signs from Saturday's Women's March

Posted By on Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 3:25 PM

KAT STROMQUIST
  • KAT STROMQUIST

Tulane's Newcomb Art Museum has asked for signs from Saturday's Women's March in New Orleans to be considered for its archive. Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 24, participants may drop signs at the museum's front desk with their names and contact information written on the back.

In a call for submissions on the museum's Facebook page, it said "what you said was important and will be important for our future."

Some media organizations are estimating the Jan. 21 demonstrations were the largest single-day protest in U.S. history.

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Hundreds march against Trump in New Orleans and "inaugurate the resistance"

Posted By on Fri, Jan 20, 2017 at 9:15 PM

Hundreds of protesters march on Canal Street Jan. 20.
  • Hundreds of protesters march on Canal Street Jan. 20.

A day of protest in New Orleans began with a mock funeral at the Mississippi River and ended with dozens of protesters linking arms at Duncan Plaza. On Jan. 20, as Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President, hundreds of New Orleanians marched in the streets, offering satire in the morning and a massive call to organize against threats to marginalized communities in the afternoon. On Jan. 21, a Women's March in solidarity with similar events around the U.S. is expected to attract thousands more people,

"Staying at home and being a political armchair quarterback — that's not going to work," said Chuck Perkins, addressing a crowd after dark in Duncan Plaza. "We have to organize."

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At first Inauguration Day protest and 'jazz funeral' Jan. 20, festive atmosphere conceals worry (slideshow)

Posted By on Fri, Jan 20, 2017 at 4:04 PM



They came in orange greasepaint, or in a uterus costume made from a yoga mat and wire coat hangers, or in funereal garb with a parasol draped in mourning-black tulle.

On Friday morning, a small but determinedly cheerful group of citizens convened at Congo Square for the first of a weekend of Inauguration Day anti-Donald Trump protests in Louisiana. At this event, organized by activist group The Next Right Thing and led by a 'jazz funeral for Lady Liberty,' protesters wheeled a 9-foot effigy of the famous statue along the Canal Street route while the Mahogany Brass Band played upbeat standards.

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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
  • 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

New Orleans rental registry and inspections gets City Council support, but debate will continue

Posted By on Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 7:30 PM

New Orleans City Councilmembers LaToya Cantrell and Jason Williams at a press conference outside City Hall before debate over a proposed rental registry.
  • New Orleans City Councilmembers LaToya Cantrell and Jason Williams at a press conference outside City Hall before debate over a proposed rental registry.

A program to register and inspect most rental units in the city will head to the New Orleans City Council, but councilmembers are likely to make changes to the measure in the coming weeks.

A 4-0 vote from the Council's Community Development Committee Jan. 18 sends the 15-page plan — an ordinance outlining the fees for rental unit registration and requirements for inspection — to the full Council for a vote, but councilmembers, residents and landlords raised several questions about how it'll work and whether there could be significant negative impacts to the city's affordable housing stock. "The bottom line is, our citizens deserve better," said District B Councilmember LaToya Cantrell, who co-authored the ordinance with At-Large Councilmember Jason Williams. "Housing that doesn’t meet quality standards impacts everybody."

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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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