Thursday, September 27, 2012

Court filings: City Council to amend ordinance banning religious, political speech on Bourbon Street

Posted By on Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 11:43 AM

New Orleans City Council will be revisiting the "aggressive solicitation" ordinance that prohibits "loiter[ing] or congregat[ing] on Bourbon Street for the purpose of disseminating any social, political or religious message between the hours of sunset and sunrise," according to court records from a Wednesday status conference on a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law.

Last week, Pastor Paul Gros filed a federal complaint, claiming that police officers threatened with him with arrest for preaching on Bourbon Street in May. The ordinance, passed last year by City Council, "serves to chill and deter Pastor Gros’s expression," the lawsuit reads. A second congregation filed another suit on Sept. 21 after its members were arrested. The two complaints have been consolidated.

U.S. District Court Judge Eldon Fallon placed a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of the law last week. The parties were scheduled to meet for a hearing before Judge Carl Barbier on Monday. That hearing has been canceled following the status conference in which an attorney for the city said that Council will amend the law "in order to address the concerns and issues raised by the Plaintiffs in these two lawsuits," a summary of the conference reads.

Gros' complaint: PastorsvCityComplaint.pdf

Minutes from Wednesday's status conference: BourbonStatusConf.pdf

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Legislator: Call for special session on Jindal cuts likely to go out next week

Posted By on Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 9:48 AM

State Rep. Jerome "Dee" Richard, I-Thibodaux, tells Gambit that he plans to submit a formal petition, some time in the next few days, calling for a special legislative session on hundreds of millions in budget cuts recently proposed or enacted by Gov. Bobby Jindal. In a phone interview this morning, Richard said the petition could go out tomorrow, though early next week is more likely.

“It’s probably going to go out on Monday," Richard said.

Last week, Richard sent an email to constituents and fellow legislators calling for the session. Read more at Louisiana Voice.

"Since our adjournment in June, there has been almost a billion dollars in reductions to the state budget without any input from the Legislature. And thanks to some media outlets we are now learning of still more cuts to healthcare without any input from the Legislature," the email reads. "I believe it is time for us, as Legislators, to aggressively reinsert ourselves into the budget process by using the Constitutional rights given to us. We should not have to relinquish our legislative duties to the administration once we pass the budget at the end of regular session in times like this."

(More after the jump)

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Permit problems: Music back at Siberia and Mimi's, and the mayor issues a statement

Posted By on Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Last night, following a day of permit discussions at Kermit Ruffins' bar and with city officials, Siberia announced it received a temporary permit to host live music at the St. Claude Avenue bar and venue — and it's looking for slots to fill.

We have a lot of holes to fill in our calendar so anyone looking to set up a show please send a message to:

A big THANKS goes out to everyone who supported us over the past few hectic months!! We are REALLY excited to be back!!!

In July, the city's Department of Revenue suggested the bar pull its live music when it found the bar without a mayoralty permit for live entertainment (the bar's zoning currently prohibits live entertainment). The bar also had acquired a few special event permits for a select number of shows.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Permit problems: Kermit Ruffins and the live music crackdown

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM

The crowd inside Kermit Ruffins Speakeasy discusses live entertainment permits with Scott Hutcheson.
  • The crowd inside Kermit Ruffins' Speakeasy discusses live entertainment permits with Scott Hutcheson.

"This is getting crazy," said Kermit Ruffins, standing in his Basin Street bar Speakeasy and wearing an apron and red chef's jacket (he was in the middle of cooking lunch). Ruffins successfully completed a permit process that would allow live music at Ernie K-Doe's Mother-in-Law Lounge, despite acquiring the lease two years ago. On Friday, Sept. 21, Ruffins posted on Facebook in response to the "crazy" — the suspension of live music at venues across town, more recently at Mimi's in the Marigny to Siberia, which hasn't had a regular music schedule since July. Ruffins' post called to organize a meeting "to discuss a plan of action to stop the city from taking live entertainment away from small clubs."

Five days later, on Wednesday, Sept. 26, Ruffins took the microphone at his club, packed with musicians, artists, second-line paraders, venue owners, lawyers and music fans.

"I got real pissed and called a meeting," he said. His plan of action also proposed a citywide march on City Hall with members of the Rebirth Brass Band and the Marsalis family, among others, at 10 a.m. Oct. 24. Until then, Ruffins said, he'll hold weekly meetings at his club.

Continue reading »

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Mimi's is still open, working on music permits

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 6:07 PM


Kermit Ruffins held a meeting at his club today, as covered below by Deb Cotton (who Gambit later learned was an active participant in the meeting), to rally musicians and club owners to confront the city's live music permitting situation. To clear up any confusion from one quote in that post, Mimi's in the Marigny has not been shut down by the city. The bar is open. Proprietor Mimi Dykes voluntarily discontinued live music as of Wednesday, Sept. 19, in order to deal with permitting issues, she said via phone from the bar this afternoon. She says she has been in contact with Scott Hutcheson from the city's Office of Cultural Economy and will meet with him soon to find out what the bar needs to do to get in compliance.

Alex Woodward reported on recent permitting issues here.

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Saints say Packers won't be only team motivated Sunday

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 6:05 PM

The New Orleans Saints went back to work on Wednesday already in a tough spot as they try and dig themselves out of a 0-3 start. Add the theatrics that took place on Monday Night Football were many felt the Packers had a win taken from them, and the Saints expect historic Lambeau Field to be amped up. It’s a situation they experienced only a season ago as both teams kicked off the NFL regular season and had the Packers coming off of a Super Bowl victory.

“I’m not sure what’s better if they win the game or come back fired up ready to get a victory after getting snubbed,” says linebacker Scott Shanle of once again facing an emotional Green Bay team. “I think just the fact that playing there playing them in that building is a tough place to play regardless of what has gone on so far this season. Two highly talented teams kind of in a position that nobody really expected us to be in wins and losses wise, so it’s a big game for both teams.”

Saints interim head coach Aaron Kromer. The Saints took practice outdoors Wednesday in an effort to be fresher come game time on Sunday.
  • Photo by Gus Kattengell
  • Saints interim head coach Aaron Kromer. The Saints took practice outdoors Wednesday in an effort to be fresher come game time on Sunday.

Green Bay won the league opener 42-34 in an offensive shootout on their way to a 15-1 regular season. The Saints went on to finish 13-3 as both teams reached and then lost in the second round of the playoffs.

“They’re a very talented group,” said interim head coach Aaron Kromer Monday after practice. “We went up there last year in the first game of the season. We had a pretty productive day. We got down early and came back. Drew (Brees) did a nice job of passing the ball around and getting us back in the game. We got to go up there with our best effort.”

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A new approach for the ever-eclectic Sara’s Bistro

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Sara’s Bistro (724 Dublin St., 861-0565) has been around for many years, but this eclectic Riverbend restaurant was always hard to categorize. Some dishes could have been taken from a French bistro, others from a Creole restaurant and then, running cross it all, there was this foundation of both Indian and southeast Asian flavors.

A new menu here, however, is quite different from what Sara’s regulars have come to expect. There’s a hanger steak prepared in the style of Korean bulgogi, for instance,and short ribs, prepared sous vide, the culinary technique that uses vacuum packs and very low heat. There’s a smoked shrimp gazpacho, a lemongrass crab bisque and mussels steamed with kaffir lime leaf, Thai bird chilies and mint.

This menu is the work of Bart Thomas, the restaurant’s new manager and consulting chef.

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Kermit Ruffins, music community, push back against City Hall enforcement tactics

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 4:16 PM

EDITOR'S NOTE: After this story was posted, Gambit learned that the author took an active role at the meeting. Rather than take down the story without explanation, we chose to leave it online. It should be read as opinion, not as news.

Meeting at Kermits Speakeasy

Trumpet player and music icon Kermit Ruffins called a meeting today via his Facebook page to get music community and its supporters help him fight what is being called by critics ‘an attack on music and culture by City Hall’:

<<"Im calling a meeting on wednesday 26 at 12 noon at my club 1535 basin st. to discuss a plan of action to stop the city from taking live entertainment away from small clubs. For more info call me at 504-975-3955 between the hr. of 10am-noon any lawyers that can help please come by noon sharp!!!!!">> - Kermit Ruffins.

(More after the jump!)

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Landrieu, Manning, others discuss Super Bowl XLVII plans

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Mayor Mitch Landrieu addresses the media regarding Super Bowl XLVII.
  • Mayor Mitch Landrieu addresses the media regarding Super Bowl XLVII.
The Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation (GNOSF) and the Super Bowl XLVII Host Committee hosted a lunch at Manning's restaurant in the CBD today, outlining some of the major initiatives that will be rolled out around New Orleans for the Super Bowl, which will be played in the Superdome Feb. 3. The game itself will cap off more than a week of activity around the city.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu said that Miami was the only city to hold more Super Bowls than New Orleans (this will be New Orleans' 10th), and added, "We're really better than Miami and all the Super Bowls should be in New Orleans anyway."

Landrieu was joined by GNOSF president Jay Cicero, along with former Saints quarterback Archie Manning, New Orleans Saints and Hornets president Dennis Lauscha, and several speakers from the NFL and local hospitality industries.

A few key points:

• Woldenberg Park will become "Verizon Super Bowl Boulevard" for nearly a week, with concerts, staging areas and fan activities, supervised by Jazz Fest honcho Quint Davis and his Festival Productions. The NFL Network will be broadcasting 60 hours of live TV from the park, while NBC will have 40 hours of programming.

Continue reading »

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Review: Postmodernism revisited at Newcomb Art Gallery

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 11:07 AM


Did postmodernism kill New York art? Clearly something did because very little of consequence has originated there for more than 20 years. Anyone looking for a culprit need look no further than the Regarding Warhol show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, featuring work by the maestro himself as well as the many wannabe clones who followed in his wake. And while early Warhol was great, it was mostly his later stuff that set the tone for what came next, the postmodern pop progeny that ranged from moderately brilliant talents like Cindy Sherman to such egregiously over-hyped hucksters as Jeff Koons, Richard Prince and all the rest who turned the New York scene into a pretentious extension of Wall Street. So it was only fitting that the most incisive review of the show appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek where critic Lance Esplund opined, “I suggest you skip it. This cramped, predictable, ho-hum exhibition... is a celebration of the artist as opportunist.” Ouch. How did postmodernism, a movement with roots in Marxist critical theory, end up as the very thing it was supposed to critique?

That is a long and sad story, but suffice it to say that not all postmodern artists obsessed with mass media so shamelessly sold out, and this Image Transfer expo at Newcomb is proof they still exist. While not all is thrall-inducing, much of the work is interesting in the way the artifacts of any lost tribe can be interesting. So here we have convoluted tropes like Karl Haendel’s large, dazzlingly realistic pencil drawings of Maltese Falcon film stills and Man Ray-style photo-abstractions (pictured); and Sean Dack’s digital images transformed by technical tweaks into neo-cubist compositions like Glitch Girl, or Sara VanDerBeek’s Four Photographers series of digital remixes of work by great photographers from the art historical past. Curated in Seattle, Image Transfer substitutes sobriety for flash, but what it and the Met’s post-Warhol show have in common is a cutting edge sensibility — from 20 years ago.

Through Oct. 15
Image Transfer: Pictures in a Remix Culture: Group exhibition curated by Sara Krajewski
Tulane University, Newcomb Art Gallery, 865-5328

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