Friday, October 31, 2008

Council Hearing on AIDS Funds

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 1:29 AM

Calling the issue “literally a matter of life and death,” Council Vice President Arnie Fielkow today convened a special housing and human needs committee to discuss longstanding funding delays for local HIV/AIDS agencies. Speaking before the committee, the director of the office in charge of the more than $7 million program said the funding process should improve next year.

     As reported earlier, even though the fiscal year for Part A Ryan White HIV/AIDS funds began in March, the city didn’t officially execute contracts until October, seven months later, and local agencies are only now receiving reimbursement for services already provided.

     With the funding delays, one agency, In This Together, that specialized in services for African Americans, could no longer pay its bills and was forced to send its clients elsewhere. Other agencies reported the need to secure lines of credit to continue services, and, in one case, putting personal property up as collateral on a loan.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

The House on My Street

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 10:51 PM

Harper Collins

I just finished Julia Reed's The House on First Street and I am not sure who to mention this to, but I am certain she stole my life,  jazzed it up a bit, and released it in book form.   Sure,  I lived in Mid City while she was in the Quarter and I was in Destin while she was in Spain.  But the parallels!   The time in New York, the desire to and fear of settling down, the renovation nightmares, the quest for the right shade of red... the list goes on.    Sadly, though, the differences stand out as well.  While she details her evenings at the city's best restaurants I can only think back pitifully to the number of take-out meals I have had lately from Slice.    It seems like many boxes of Annie's Mac-n-Cheese ago that I got heart palpitations with the thought of dining at so many wonderful New Orleans restaurants, and it is hard to believe it was only a year ago that Nick and I kept lists of new restaurants to try and old ones to visit.  The solution came as I put down The House on First Street.

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¿Quién es votar a favor de Homero?

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 10:37 PM

  Find out now, 20th Century Fox has already yanked the video from American YouTube.   Our French-speaking readers can find a suitable version after the jump. 

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Bark at the Moon

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 8:43 PM

Starting tonight, you will have three chances to make your canine or feline companion look visibly sad and miserable among fellow uncomfortable and awkward pets this Halloween season.


Tonight, Canine Culture (8110 Hampson St., 373-5141) hosts a costume contest with pet-friendly trick-or-treats from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Enter your dog in the contest for $5, with net proceeds benefiting LA/SPCA. 


Tomorrow night, Old Point Bar (545 Patterson Drive, Algiers, 364-0950) hosts Howl at the Moon, a fundraiser for the Humane Society of Louisiana, with costume contests for groups or individuals (and pets) from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.


Sunday, in keeping with the Halloween spirit with a nod to Tuesday’s election, head to Lafrienere Park (3000 Downs Blvd., Metairie) for the inaugural Pet Fest for a patriotic costume contest. This year’s theme, Petriotic Party: Democats and Repuplicans, should give you an idea for costume plans. Anticipate a lot of these. Or something more obscure — maybe a Gayle Quinnell will show up and confuse a black Labrador with an Afghan hound.

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Ratings Sweep

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 5:50 PM

One of my regular Internet visits is to’s Arena, in which a smattering of politicians, academics and personalities opines on a central topic. Today, the site takes on last night’s prime-time “Barackumentary,” as it were, which of course suffered from some clichéd, teary-eyed imagery and swelling strings, but which overall I felt presented a clear-eyed and convincing glimpse of unquestionably the most inspiring governmental figure of my lifetime. Responses vary from praise by observers and partisans alike (“The most effective — and affecting — political spot since Charles Guggenheim's in the 1960s,” offers Ross Baker of Rutgers; “may be the finest political advertisement in modern American political history,” says Clinton strategist Lanny Davis) to concerns about its ramifications on the broken campaign-finance system. (“The most important thing about last night wasn't what Obama said, but that he could say it,” observes Dan Schnur of USC.) But I believe one response — incidentally, the one currently at the top — says more: “After watching The One last night, I weepingly came to the conclusion that our country should change the national pastime from baseball to breastfeeding,” says Reagan biographer Craig Shirley. “Let's all hold hands and sing ‘Michael Row the Boat Ashore,’ and have a national group encounter session where we can share our pain with The One.” I can only wonder if Mr. Shirley realizes that it is precisely that kind of smug, deaf-ear cynicism, the colossal and continued misreading of a tidal change in America's political public opinion, that is winning this election for Barack Obama. 


A word on Gambit's endorsement policy

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 5:47 PM

We've gotten a few calls and emails inquiring about Gambit's endorsement for the presidential ticket. We don't endorse for president and never have. In the interest of transparency, here's our policy:

Gambit does not endorse -- and has never endorsed -- in national races, which includes presidential contests, for the simple reason that we're a locally-focused publication. Nor does the paper endorse in local judicial or assessor races, though for a different reason -- our editorial position is that judges and assessors should be appointed, not elected. We do endorse in Congressional races, state amendments, and the rest. You can find our full list of Nov. 2008 endorsements here.

As for other weekly papers around the country, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (of which Gambit is a member) is currently compiling a list of which of its member publications choose to endorse or not endorse in the presidential race. (I'll update this post with a link when the AAN's survey is done.)

And if you want to track the endorsements at the country's dailies, Editor & Publisher is on top of that with a daily updated tally.

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No, Not Really

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 4:36 PM

The Times Picayune reported yesterday  that flu shots are currently available at all parish health units in the New Orleans area to anyone and everyone that wants one. That's hardly the case. As of now, the immunization is only for folks who are considered to be “high risk,” meaning those over the age of 65. Orleans Parish Health Unit couldn’t provide clear answers on when the shots will be open to the masses.

If you’d like to avoid spending a miserable week in bed, you still have options aside from obsessive hand washing and avoiding all human contact. Walgreens and CVS are offering single day flu shot clinics, but you’ll want to show up early to beat the undoubtedly long lines. Or take a little drive to the St. Charles Health Center in Luling, where everyone is eligible for the immunization. In the meantime, keep your hands clean, or get your flu shot at one of the following places:

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The Scoop on Frozen Assets

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 3:29 PM


The field of candidates going after Louisiana's 2nd Congressional District seat in the Democratic primary seemed reluctant to touch the elephant in the room, the upcoming corruption trial of incumbent U.S. Rep. William Jefferson.

Turns out the folks at Mid-City's own New Orleans Ice Cream Co. are not so timid. After all, these are the people who came up with the ice cream flavor "Chocolate City," a riff on Mayor C. Ray Nagin's Martin Luther King Day speech in 2006 that so prickled racial sensitivities.

The ice cream company's NOLA-tinged entrepreneurial spirit has now spawned a new billboard visible from the elevated approach to the Crescent City Connection, near the New Orleans Arena and Central City, that takes square aim at what will be a major issue for Jefferson during his trial: the $90,000 in marked bills FBI agents say they found in the Congressman's freezer when they raided his D.C. pad.  The image above is a reproduction of the billboard, for those who don't like distractions on the road.

It's all a set up for a contest the ice cream company is promoting. From their Web site:

If you're from New Orleans, you know your paw-paw always hid his money in the freezer or the 'ice box.'

Now, thanks to a well known FBI investigation the whole country knows our secret."

So they want people to send in photos of whatever they have in their freezers, which will surely inspire some creative product placements. Send the images to them online and if they choose yours to appear on their Web site, you get a prize.

Note that nowhere does the copy mention our Congressman by name, but, of course, we can read between the scoops.

--Ian McNulty

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Outside Perspective: The Saints season in numbers

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 2:21 PM

Drew eveading

Photo by Jonathan Bachman


We've made many claims in this space (not the least of which being Drew Brees is a god amongst men) but we decided to look at a true outsider's perspective. And what better place to look than


For the uninitiated, the folks at Football Outsiders are the same that write Pro Football Prospectus. It's the essential and definitive guide to all things NFL (these people have calculated their statistics for Chrissakes). But aside from coming up with their own statistical categories after dozens and dozens of hours of looking at game footage and analyzing statistics, they've revolutionized how we look at the NFL today.


Seeing as how Saints fans would like some context on this helter skelter season, I conduceted a Q&A with Bill Barnwell, managing editor of Football Outsiders, to give a sober, calculated look at the Saints thus far. This is what transpired:


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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cultural Incentives

Posted By on Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 11:35 PM


Just as the international art biennial Prospect.1 starts drawing cultural tourists to the city, state legislation goes into effect making designated areas into official “Cultural Districts.” In those areas, there will be no state or local sales tax on original works of art, and there will be tax incentives for renovation of historic properties. The law goes into effect on Nov. 1.


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