Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Timecode:nola debuts FF ONE film festival this weekend

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 7:36 AM

Timecode:nola, a non-profit organization whose mission is to "give a voice to local flimmakers," will present its first annual film festival this weekend, September 27-30. The FF One schedule is packed with unique film-centric events at venues across New Orleans.

The festivities begin at 9 p.m. on Thursday with a screening of documentary Satan's Angel, about the legendary San Francisco burlesque dancer of the same name. The film will be preceded by a live burlesque performance and followed by a director Q&A at Siberia, 2227 St. Claude. Tickets are free but limited, and can be reserved here. Friday night brings an hour of environmentally themed short films called Defend the Gulf followed by the return of the One Reel Super 8 Film Contest, for which local directors shoot three-minute movies in sequence and turn in the results for processing. Filmmakers and audience will see the films for the first time together as a live piano player improvises a score. This event happens at One Eyed Jack's, 615 Toulouse in the French Quarter. Tickets are $8 and are available here.

Saturday events include filmmaking panels and workshops, a program of local short films, a "best of" slate of films from other festivals across the globe and the debut of Where Y'at (hello), which compiles the work of 15 local filmmakers who were assigned individual New Orleans street corners on which to shoot their own five-minute, slice-of-life films. Sunday brings more panels and workshops, a program of two award-winning documentaries and the Outdoor Nomading Film Festival, which features short travel films and free beer at the Daufilme Movie Club's Marigny courtyard.

Full details on all these events and links to tickets can be found here.

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Public Transit Tuesdays: Elysian Fields

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 7:31 AM

I met a woman today who was (rightfully) suspicious when she saw me in the 7th Ward, digging under a house, snapping pictures and writing in my legal pad. After chatting for a while, she asked, "What are you going to write about? This article, what is it?" I said, "Well. I don't know. A little bit of everything, really. I can delete the pictures of you if you want." She looked at me for a little while, trying to see if I was legit, before saying, "Alright, sista, Imma let you have this one...But if you see what's going on and don't write about it, you're a part of the problem."

I agree. I've mentioned the issues that we were venting about (gentrification, euphemistic neighborhood names and discrimination) and others that would have come up in the conversation eventually (hate groups, homelessness, accessibility, the stigma in the black community associated with seeking mental health care, blight and the lack of love for New Orleans East), but I'll admit that I haven't really gone into detail as much as I can and should. She correctly guessed that I try to keep my power-fighting to a minimum because I don't want to ruffle feathers.

When I started this column, I was used to writing for CUE, our monthly fashion, home and beauty magazine. I love writing for CUE because I love glossy magazines; like CUE intern Angela Hernandez, I have stacks of glossy mags all over the house. (I know a girl who slipped on a magazine and broke her arm, though, so be careful and keep those stacks off of the floor.)

But writing for glossy fashion magazines is different, because there are advertisers that you don't want to upset and relationships with retailers that you want to build. Minus basic journalistic principles, the writing is so different that someone even called me out on it on the debut of Public Transit Tuesdays. And I was pissed. And hurt. Via Twitter, the guy accused us (me, really) of trying to disguise advertising as content. He wasn't mean, though, so I responded to him and he basically said he'd give it another shot.

I'm not linking the actual Twitter conversation because I know this person doesn't like to mix Twitter with his actual blog. I know that because I ended up getting really angry about his accusation later that night. Not because of him, but because I was venting to someone about the accusation who said that someone else said that my writing "sounded too much like ad copy" and that set me off. (The person who told me this was trying to be helpful, not gossipy.)

I didn't think the person who originally said my writing sounded like ad copy liked me anyway (well, I thought the person did at first but then I thought the person didn't), so I tried to brush it off, but I kept hearing it play in my mind: Ad copy. Ad copy?! I wondered to myself if the person had ever read a magazine; my CUE writing and glossy magazine writing are pretty damn parallel, which is a good thing.

I searched all over the Internet and found out who was behind the cartoon avatar on Twitter and was pretty happy to see that I wasn't the only journalist — not even the only Gambit writer — that he openly critiqued.

(Update: He liked the next installment, we follow each other on Twitter and he likes my Facebook journalist page and all of that good stuff. And I'm pretty cool with the person who didn't like me back then. We're not best buddies or anything, but we like and respect each other.)

Still, I wanted to cover hard news in addition to my CUE writing. That's a big part of why I created Public Transit Tuesdays in the first place — I could cover anything I wanted.

Riding the bus today with Apptitude founder Chris Boyd, we discussed the importance of doing things for your community, even when they are often literally more trouble than they're worth. He said, "It's a good motivation when you remember that you're doing something for New Orleans."

Steps in the 7th Ward, on N. Robertson.
  • Steps in the 7th Ward, on N. Robertson.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Press release: Legal victories for two Southern 32 members in Immigration Court

Posted By on Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 8:08 PM

The New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice (NOWCRJ) highlighted two recent court wins for local day laborers and members of the Southern 32 in a press release today. One of them, Joaquin Navarro Hernandez, was profiled in a recent Gambit cover story.

Last month, New Orleans Immigration Court Judge W. Wayne Stogner said that the government's case against Navarro Hernandez was based on unreliable evidence, namely a U.S. Border Patrol arrest report that was demonstrated to be inaccurate. Stogner gave lawyers for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement one month to produce more evidence.

Last week, Navarro Hernandez's case was dismissed.

(Read NOWCRJ's full press release after the jump)

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City workers group: "We're fighting for the very existence of civil service"

Posted By on Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 7:51 PM

A small group of city employees, organized by the group Concerned Classified City Employees, gathered tonight at the Little Zion Baptist Church hoping to develop a strategy to fight an attempt to overhaul the Landrieu administration's plan to overhaul the city's civil service system.

The group, led by Randolph Scott, began meeting last year to protest a proposed change to a procedure for reemploying laid off employees — called "bumping" — and the appointment of Loyola University President Rev. Kevin Wildes to the Civil Service Commission, the policy making body for personnel rules.

"Now this is coming to a head here. We were fighting for bumping before. Now we're fighting for the very existence of civil service," Scott said tonight.

The meeting was called in response to a package of proposed changes to the civil service rules recently uncovered by the Police Association of New Orleans. According to an internal city memo, those changes could go to the Civil Service Commission as early as October 15.

(More after the jump)

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Broussard pleads guilty

Posted By on Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Aaron Broussard, pictured in August after pleading not guilty to corruption charges. Broussard reversed today, pleading guilty to conspiracy and theft.
  • Aaron Broussard, pictured in August after pleading not guilty to corruption charges. Broussard reversed today, pleading guilty to conspiracy and theft.

Former Jefferson Parish president Aaron Broussard today pleaded guilty to two federal corruption charges: conspiracy to commit bribery and wire fraud and theft from programs receiving federal funds. Broussard, who accepted a plea deal after co-defendant and former parish attorney Tom Wilkinson entered a guilty plea, faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for the convictions.

Broussard's admission of guilt concludes a lengthy federal investigation into corruption within his administration. But U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said that the former parish president will be expected to cooperate with future investigations, mentioning parish contractors but not naming any specifically.

"This case, which has now produced five convictions ... serves as a blueprint" for how government officials should and should not behave, Letten said after the hearing. "If you read the factual basis, you'll see how important this case is."

(More after the jump)

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Slow Food plans to restart in New Orleans

Posted By on Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Slow Food New Orleans
  • Courtesy of Slow Food New Orleans

Long before the lexicon of local foods was commonplace, the international movement called Slow Food was encouraging people to reconnect with authentic regional flavors and food traditions. Launched in Italy in 1986, it came in response to the rise of fast food and industrialized food in Europe and it grew with chapters across the world.

New Orleans food maven (and now local radio personality) Poppy Tooker started the first local chapter of Slow Food back in 1999. That branch was disbanded two years ago amid turmoil over the direction and goals of Slow Food USA, the national organization run from Brooklyn. But now a new chapter of Slow Food is forming in New Orleans, and a launch party is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 1, at Rock ‘n’ Bowl.

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Review: Fiona Apple at House of Blues

Posted By on Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 10:19 AM

  • Rachel Puckett (@rachelpuckett /
Just hours before Fiona Apple took the stage at the New Orleans House of Blues, the fallout from her recent drug possession arrest, and then her subsequent public comments about that arrest, played out on Internet gossip sites that had suddenly taken interest in the reclusive artist. After Apple alluded to some "inappropriate and probably illegal" behavior by four unnamed people in the Sierre Blanca, Texas prison where she was held, the public information officer of Texas’ Hudspeth County Sheriff’s Office, Rusty Fleming, fired back in a statement, basically saying Apple is not famous and that she should just “shut up and sing.”

Last night in New Orleans, she addressed that right when she walked onstage: “I just wanna say to (musician) Charlie Dayton who made this record with me, I'm sorry all our hard work is being overshadowed by this bullshit." Then she continued with “And there’s no fucking lock box,” referencing the metaphor she employed to describe how those “inappropriate” activities are stored in her head. “I’m not that fucked up.” Immediately after she launched into “Fast As You Can” — in which she snarls “you think you know how crazy, how crazy I am” — beginning a captivating set spanning her discography.

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Watch: New Orleans artist Alexis Marceaux on NBC's The Voice

Posted By on Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Alexis Marceaux passed her blind audition on last night's singing competition The Voice, landing on Cee-Lo Green's team. She opened up about her experience following Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures, and performed a massive rendition of Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way."

In her recent profile in Gambit's 2012 music issue, Marceaux said between tapings of the show, she's been busy working on her debut with The Samurai (aka Sam Craft, who makes a cameo) and an upcoming swamp-pop supergroup. After her performance, she talked about The Saints and whistlin'.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Saints stress staying together after overtime loss

Posted By on Mon, Sep 24, 2012 at 6:29 PM

The day after the New Orleans Saints 27-24 overtime loss to Kansas City wasn’t much better. Blowing a 18-point lead doesn’t look better the next day and once again for the third Monday this season, Saints players and coaches were searching for answers.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees takes a bit hit during Sundays loss. The Chiefs defense sacked Brees four times and hit him eight times.
  • Photo by the Kansas City Chiefs
  • Saints quarterback Drew Brees takes a bit hit during Sunday's loss. The Chiefs defense sacked Brees four times and hit him eight times.

“Each individual group has to pick it up just a little bit — defensively, offensively and on special teams. If each group just picks it up we will be fine,” said Saints interim head coach Aaron Kromer. The Black and Gold are 0-3 and up next travel to Green Bay. A task that has many Saints fans practically conceding a 0-4 start.

“We obviously haven’t made enough plays to win. It’s not like we’re getting blown out each and every game,” said wide receiver Lance Moore Monday morning. “The three losses were different but in each game we had chances and just didn’t make the most of those opportunities and we got to figure out what it is that is not allowing us to do that.”

Figuring that one missing ingredient that clearly is missing could earn someone a promotion or a nice bonus. Especially since no one seems to know the right answer. It is simply puzzling how one minute on Sunday the Saints looked like the team that won 13 games last season and then look like a team that is battling for a win much less a playoff spot.

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The Advocate kicks off New Orleans edition with reception at Rock 'n' Bowl

Posted By on Mon, Sep 24, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Advocate New Orleans bureau staffers met the press this morning at Rock n Bowl. From left: publisher David Manship; reporters Kari Dequine Harden and Danny Monteverde; bureau chief Sara Pagones; sportswriter Ted Lewis; sales director Sara Barnard; reporter Allen Powell; and photographer John McCusker.
  • Advocate New Orleans bureau staffers met the press this morning at Rock 'n' Bowl. From left: publisher David Manship; reporters Kari Dequine Harden and Danny Monteverde; bureau chief Sara Pagones; sportswriter Ted Lewis; sales director Sara Barnard; reporter Allen Powell; and photographer John McCusker.
With the Lagniappe Brass Band blaring a welcome, The Advocate made its New Orleans debut today with a dash of local style at a morning reception at Rock 'n' Bowl. This morning's Advocate New Orleans edition was stacked on tables, each front page bearing a sticker that said "Enjoy today's paper on us!" and offering subscription information for the paper's official rollout Oct. 1.

Gregory Rusovich, chair-elect of Greater New Orleans Inc., and Suzanne Mestayer, chair of the Business Council of New Orleans, were among the community leaders on hand to welcome the Baton Rouge paper into the market. "Economically, our region has the hot hand," Rusovich told the crowd, adding, "We deserve a daily paper, and thanks to The Advocate and the Manship family, we will have that daily newspaper."

Advocate publisher David Manship was there to introduce the staff of the New Orleans bureau, all of whom were former Times-Picayune staffers: bureau chief Sara Pagones; reporters Kari Dequine Harden, Danny Monteverde and Allen Powell; photographer John McCusker; sportswriter Ted Lewis; and Sara Barnard, head of sales for the New Orleans bureau. Carl Redman, executive editor for the Baton Rouge paper, was also on hand. In the back of the room were former T-P columnist Angus Lind and former City Hall reporter Frank Donze, both of whom had stopped by to check out the scene.

"It's exciting and nervewracking all at the same time," Monteverde said. "I think we'll do well, though it may take us a while to get our land legs."

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