Friday, November 6, 2015

New Orleans officials celebrate opening of Lafitte Greenway

Posted By on Fri, Nov 6, 2015 at 1:00 PM

Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Sophie Harris of Friends of the Lafitte Corridor and members of the New Orleans City Council cut the ribbon to the Lafitte Greenway on Nov. 6. - ALEX WOODWARD
  • Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Sophie Harris of Friends of the Lafitte Corridor and members of the New Orleans City Council cut the ribbon to the Lafitte Greenway on Nov. 6.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu handed Sophie Harris the blue ribbon wrapped around the sign announcing an ambitious 3-mile park that links Mid-City with the French Quarter, a project imagined over decades and completed nine years after residents — the Friends of the Lafitte Greenway (FOLG) — started planning how to make it reality.

"It took a village," Harris, director of FOLG, told Gambit on Nov. 6 after city officials formally opened the Lafitte Greenway. The LED-lighted bike and pedestrian path stretches from Mid-City at Bayou St. John to the edge of the French Quarter, with gardens, parks, soccer fields and other community spaces planned along the trail. FOLG has led the planning process since 2006, and the group didn't lose hope despite canceled projects and delayed construction starts. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Interior announced a prioritized commitment to the park, and the city began construction last year. The Greenway was set to open this summer — with November's 80-degree weather, District A City Councilmember Susan Guidry (who joined the FOLC before her election to the City Council) joked, "Does it at least feel this way?"

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Friday, June 26, 2015

The New Orleans Exercist gets a tuneup: This week's fitness activities in the city

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 5:48 PM

click image Cyclists can get a friendly introduction to trail riding at the Northlake Nature Center this Monday evening. - NORTHLAKE NATURE CENTER VIA FACEBOOK
  • Cyclists can get a friendly introduction to trail riding at the Northlake Nature Center this Monday evening.

Each week this summer, the New Orleans Exercist brings you news and events for active living in the Big Easy. This week: free yoga, a queer-friendly Pilates class and a bike workshop to end street harassment.

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Friday, June 12, 2015

The New Orleans Exercist bikes naked

Posted By on Fri, Jun 12, 2015 at 6:15 PM

click image Riders leave Markey Park during the 2014 World Naked Bike Ride. - ROBERT JENNINGS/YOUTUBE
  • Riders leave Markey Park during the 2014 World Naked Bike Ride.

Each week this summer, the New Orleans Exercist brings you news and events for active living in the Big Easy. This week: get out your Glitter Tits to bike naked in the French Quarter and clean and jerk on the Northshore. Ow ow.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A New Orleans City Park tree-sitting protestor speaks out

Posted By on Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 2:54 PM

A partially killed live oak within the construction zone. - JULES BENTLEY
  • A partially killed live oak within the construction zone.
As a longtime, dues-paying Friend of City Park, it took me a while to get on board with the effort to save the wild public land that City Park CEO Bob Becker and the Bayou District Foundation nonprofit want to turn into a high-end golf course. The campaign seemed too little too late, or worse, an example of people who didn't live through the trauma of the flood but romanticized a wrecked version of the city.

The arguments against rebuilding the golf course accreted gradually— learning just how much that wild stretch meant to so many New Orleanians from all walks of life, learning how dire the economics of golf are in 2015, and learning about the sinister neoliberal elements of the "East Lake model" that the Bayou District Foundation, chaired by George H.W. Bush, seeks to emulate. When it was shown to me that, despite originally promising to only restore land that had previously been golf course, several far older cypress and live oaks and a fat slice of the Couturie Forest were being consigned to the ax, I was swayed.

The tree-sit protest ongoing in one of the now fenced-off public area's threatened cypress is, as far as I know, without local precedent. In the mid-'90s, a group of Loyola faculty and students sat at the base of a cypress tree that the University's then-president wanted to cut down. "We lasted for weeks, but then the end of the semester came," said Dr. John Clark. "We were sitting, and it was a tree, but I'm not sure that made it a tree-sit." Now, Dr. Clark is among many New Orleanians who've begun spending free time at Harrison Circle to show support for the young people in one of the threatened trees. Yesterday, after four days in the tree, one of the sitters came down. I spoke to her the evening of her descent.

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Endangered crocs hatched at Audubon Zoo

Posted By on Thu, Nov 6, 2014 at 3:43 PM

  • Courtesy Audubon Zoo

Two brown false gharials, endangered freshwater reptiles that look similar to crocodiles, have been born at the Audubon Zoo Reptile Encounter — marking the first time the species has been bred in captivity in America in five years. It’s the first false gharial births at Audubon Zoo, although the species has lived at the zoo since the 1980s.

The zoo’s staff says the gharials, part of the crocodilian group that also includes alligators, crocodiles and caimans, hatched several weeks ago and are only a few inches long. The zoo announced the births Wednesday. 

Gharials are native to southeast Asia and typically inhabit freshwater swamps with lots of vegetation, as well as lakes and rivers. They have a narrower snout than a crocodile and consume a varied diet, including fish, small animals, insects and crustaceans. Unlike crocodiles and alligators, gharials slide on their bellies on land instead of raising up their bodies to walk.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) has placed false gharials on its Red List of Threatened Species (version 3.1) and attributes much of the population decline to habitat destruction. It estimates there are fewer than 2,500 mature adult gharials in the world, with most living along tributaries of the Ganges River.

Adult gharials average 350 to 400 pounds, with males growing from 13 to 19.7 feet long and weighing as much as 1,500 pounds, according to the San Diego Zoo website. Females tend to be shorter, averaging 11 to 13 feet long.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Second line Sunday: YMO steps off Uptown at 1 p.m.

Posted By on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 10:49 AM


SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2014 - 1-3 PM

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Y@ Speak: closing time

Posted By on Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 1:02 PM

You don't have to go home but you can't stay here. That goes for you, nude bicyclists, dudes passing out in public and a certain restaurant. For others, it's primetime futbol, reality TV, Walmart, dad and "beignets raining from the trees" season — all in this week's Y@ Speak.

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Bill aims for open season on Louisiana wild hogs

Posted By on Fri, Apr 4, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Desoto Parish State Rep. Richard "Richie" Burford, R-Stonewall (motto: "A great place to live"), introduced House Bill 353, which declares open season on wild hogs — the pigs, not the Tim Allen dad-buddy masterpiece. Under the bill, hunters can go after wild hogs, day or night, on private property. Under present law, hunting wild hogs is restricted to daylight hours from February through August. The bill passed the House 85-10 on Wednesday and was introduced in the Senate Thursday.

A House amendment also includes authorization to hunt coyotes at night on private property, also at any time of the year. (Present law already includes permission to hunt nutria and beaver.)

The bill follows the state's exploding wild animal populations — which in recent years have crept into more urban and suburban areas of New Orleans beyond surrounding bayous and parks. Recent sightings include a coyote (which has a Twitter account) stalking Uptown, and several adorable hog families hanging out on the neutral ground on Almonaster Road in New Orleans East.

According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, feral hogs (Sus scrofa) came to North America via Spanish explorers who planned to use them as livestock, but through escape and release, the pigs adapted to the wild. They can reach 400 pounds — they're protective, and kind of mean, and you don't want one charging at you. While the piglets are cute, the animals cause millions of dollars in damage to farms, forests and other property. Hog rooting can impact crops, golf courses, hayfields and backyards. The LSU AgCenter estimates there are more than 500,000 wild hogs in the state.

("But how does it taste, Alex?") Great. It's lean and not too game-y.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Y@ Speak: rites of spring

Posted By on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Ah, spring. Festival season has begun with the ceremonial dumping of the corn dogs, followed by the butchering of dozens of pigs at Hogs for the Cause, where revelers develop the meat-sweats under the hot sun.

Also this week: Jimmy Graham's prelude to a dunk, a Buddy Roemer and Jason Williams faceoff, Super Sunday, and Jahri Evans meets an actual pelican.

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Ta-ta, TY PARK: Repairs begin on City Park topiary sign

Posted By on Fri, Nov 1, 2013 at 12:48 PM

When a gardening mishap earlier this week turned the iconic CITY PARK boxwood sign into TY PARK, park spokesman John Hopper said that new boxwoods had already been located on the Northshore and would be replanted pronto.

It's already been done — just in time for the first day of the Voodoo Music + Art Experience at the park:


More pix under the jump!

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