Wednesday, March 29, 2017

New Orleans joins cities asking court to stop Trump's "sanctuary" order

Posted By on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 6:22 PM

On "sanctuary" cities, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry says New Orleans is "part of this problem." - CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • On "sanctuary" cities, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry says New Orleans is "part of this problem."

New Orleans is among 36 U.S. cities and counties asking a federal court judge to stop President Donald Trump's executive order threatening to halt federal funding to so-called "sanctuary" cities. Trump's order, as enforced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), targets immigrants living in the country without legal permission. DHS lists Orleans Parish among U.S. cities that "limit cooperation" with federal immigration authorities.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed on to a letter with a coalition of cities supporting San Francisco's pending lawsuit arguing against the order's constitutionality and demanding the court lift its enforcement nationwide. Cities that signed onto the letter "agree that local authorities, not distant federal officials, should be making policy judgments that affect the interests and safety needs of their local communities," according to a statement.

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Gov. John Bel Edwards unveils far-reaching tax plan

Posted By on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 3:55 PM

Gov. John Bel Edwards.
  • Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Gov. John Bel Edwards on Wednesday unveiled a far-reaching tax plan to fix a $1.2 billion fiscal precipice the state is approaching next year, calling for a striking departure from how businesses are currently taxed and cutting income taxes for most Louisiana residents.

A key part of the plan is the addition of a commercial activity tax (CAT) — essentially a 0.35 percent tax on gross receipts for businesses. That tax would raise between $800 and $900 million per year. Businesses making less than $1.5 million would not be subject to the CAT, and would instead pay $250 to $750 per year.

Edwards called for a reduction to personal and corporate income tax rates, an end to corporate franchise taxes phased out over 10 years and eliminating the fifth penny of sales tax that lawmakers raised last year temporarily to cover a more than $1 billion budget hole.
Louisiana currently has the highest combined state and local sales tax in the nation.

“Our problem is easy to identify. We’re operating on a broken outdated structure,” Edwards said at an afternoon news conference at the Capitol. “The central piece of this plan involves leveling the playing field that has been unfairly tilted toward the big guy.”

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Avett Brothers cancel Saenger show due to flu

Posted By on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 12:43 PM


The Avett Brothers
, who were set to play the Saenger Theater March 30, have canceled the show due to influenza. According to a letter written by Seth Avett and released by the theater, the show will be rescheduled and tickets will be honored for the new dates. Purchasers also have the option of getting a refund:
It is with our sincerest apologies that I write to inform you of the following: Scott has the flu. We would love nothing more than to be in Louisiana and Texas over these next few days to play and sing with you, but he is down for the count. We know a lot of you have made great efforts to be at these shows, and we are truly sympathetic to any inconvenience this unfortunate change of plans causes you. We will do our very best to reschedule these performances and will give you further details as soon as we can. Please hold on to your tickets, as they will be honored for the new dates. If you are unable to attend the rescheduled shows, refunds will be issued at point of purchase. If you purchased through Songkick during our fan pre-sale, you will receive an email with further information.
Peace and love to you all, and thank you kindly for your time, consideration, and understanding...
See you soon.
-Seth Avett
Location Details Saenger Theatre
Saenger Theatre
1111 Canal St.
French Quarter
New Orleans, Louisiana
(504) 287-0351

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Editorial: These Louisiana politicians just sold out your online privacy

Posted By on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 12:28 PM


While the chatter in Washington D.C. last week focused on the failed GOP health care plan to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, a much quieter — but equally egregious — repeal-and-replace bill moved through the U.S. Senate along party lines. By a 50-48 vote, Senate Republicans overturned internet privacy laws adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the last days of President Barack Obama’s administration. On March 28, the House of Representatives voted 215-205 to follow the Senate’s lead, and President Donald Trump has indicated he will sign the measure.

What does this mean for you? Simply put, your internet service provider now may legally track your every online move, collect the data, and sell it — including financial and health information, location and other data.

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Women, wine and heart disease — Dr. Meredith Maxwell of Touro Hospital and everyone’s favorite wine myth

Posted By on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Conventional wisdom says that red wine is heart-healthy, but does science agree? - STEPHAN KRAUSE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Conventional wisdom says that red wine is heart-healthy, but does science agree?

The nomenclature can be confusing.

Heart disease, coronary artery disease, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease — and don’t get started on the acronyms (CAD, CVD, CHD, etc.) — it’s hard to know if you’re sick or eating alphabet soup. Each of these terms refer to a condition that falls under the umbrella of heart disease. Some of these specific diseases are derivatives, or the result of worsening heart disease, but they all point to the same underlying problem, and the same outcome if untreated.

In the 1940s, heart disease was responsible for half of all U.S. deaths, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As of 2014, that number had been reduced to 614,348 deaths — down to about 4 percent of all deaths nationwide. Even though heart disease is often thought of as a “man’s disease,” the truth is that it kills just as many women as it does men. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 4 male and female deaths were caused by heart disease in 2013.

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Women tattoo artists' showcase opens at Glitter Box April 7

Posted By on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 9:00 AM


An exhibition of work by women tattoo artists (including co-curator Katie Barroso, Danika Brooke, Niki Rain and Mia) opens next month at Glitter Box N.O (1109 Royal St.). Art, digital prints and products designed by the artists will be sold. 10 percent of all proceeds from the exhibition will benefit Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response (STAR).

In the past, we've profiled many local women who tattoo, including Jamie Ruth of Treasure Tattoo and Jacci Gresham of Aart Accent Tattoos. A recent Gambit cover story on nipple tattoos for women who have had mastectomies included Kenner artist Carole Dezarn.

"Stay Bold: A Lady Tattooer Showcase" is open from April 7 through 30. There's an opening party with cocktails from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. April 7. It's free to attend.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Top Taco Festival announces winners

Posted By on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 11:52 AM

The inaugural Top Taco New Orleans festival took place March 23 at the Riverwalk's Spanish Plaza. - COURTESY TOP TACO
  • The inaugural Top Taco New Orleans festival took place March 23 at the Riverwalk's Spanish Plaza.

A traditional taqueria in Kenner took home top honors at the Top Taco New Orleans festival March 23.

Taqueria Chilangos (2723 Roosevelt Blvd., 504-469-5599) was named top traditional taco by both the judges and people’s vote. Judges (including this one) voted for their favorites from more than 40 restaurants competing in categories including top creative taco, top traditional margarita and top creative tequila cocktail.

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Jazz Fest releases the cubes

Posted By on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 11:22 AM

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers perform Sunday, April 30 at Jazz Fest. - MARY ELLEN MATTHEWS
  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers perform Sunday, April 30 at Jazz Fest.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival released the cubes, or daily schedules, for its 2017 event. Headliners include Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Usher and The Roots, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Kings of Leon, Widespread Panic, Alabama Shakes and many others.

Included in the announcement is the lineup of Cuban bands slated to perform in the Cultural Exchange Pavilion, located on the infield between the Congo Square Stage and Food 2 area. The stage has a full lineup of five to six bands every day. Cuban bands also will perform on other stages, and headliners include Gente de Zona, Chucho Valdes and Los Van Van. There also will be Cuban food, crafts and art.

The Festival runs April 28-30 and May 4-7 at the New Orleans Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots. Single day tickets are $70 in advance or $80 at the gate. Ticket information is here.

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Premiere: listen to Vox and the Hound's album Aloha Shores

Posted By on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 11:15 AM


Vox and the Hound looked to Sergio Leone scores and spaghetti Westerns as its cinematic mantra for 2012's breakthrough Courage. But for its 2017 followup Aloha Shores, out March 31, the New Orleans born-and-bred rock band embraced '80s horror scores and cornball action movies. "Everything was like, 'What can the keyboards do?'" says singer Leo DeJesus. "'Before we do that, can we do that on a keyboard?'"

DeJesus tends to think of songs cinematically. On Aloha Shores, his flair for theatrical vocal lines meets squiggly keyboards, soft synths and punchy bass riffs, from the disjointed funk of Talking Heads ("WoЯn") to a Champagne-toasted Steely Dan impression on "Aloha Sures (Sous Shuf)."

"We always had a tendency to do what [drummer Eric Rogers] calls a 'sideways Christmas tree' — starts small and ends up big," DeJesus says. See album opener "Recapitated," which veers into its prog-rock centerpiece with surround-sound harmonies, then blasts right back to its earworm chorus.

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Student zine, presentation March 30 highlight notable New Orleans black women

Posted By on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 11:10 AM

Mwende Katwiwa (center) and program participants.
  • Mwende Katwiwa (center) and program participants.

In a time when pop culture is finally amplifying the voices and stories of more black women, participants in a Young Women with a Vision after-school program are finding heroes closer to home.

At a New Orleans Public Library presentation Thursday, they'll present a zine-style sample of their work so far on a book that ultimately will profile as many as 30 notable black women from New Orleans. The book, created almost entirely by the program's middle and high school students, will be published when the program concludes this academic year.

"We're living in this era of black girl magic, and  if you're a millennial of my age it hits you at the perfect time, but I realized ... a lot of that has not actually trickled down to young people," says program coordinator Mwende Katwiwa. "I was getting a lot of feedback from [the students] in school that they don't have access to a lot of black women who look like them. ... A lot of the people people that they see in places that are not home don't look like them and don't share similar experiences."

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