Lydia C. Broyard has lived down the street from the historic Carver Theater since 1945. The 93 year-old popped her head into the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the newly renovated theater this morning to get a glimpse of the space where she watched all her favorite old westerns, and where her grandchildren and great-children all grew up going to the movies. "It looks nice," she says, walking home alongside the brick building. "Not how I remembered it, but nice."
RIght beside her, a marching band from Landry-Walker High School is lining up to go in and perform on the Carver's new stage. Jermaine Johnson, a senior drummer in the band, says he's excited to play because of the theater's storied history, though he had never even heard of the Carver before he was asked to play there.
Medical marijuana has been on Louisiana's books since 1991, allowing doctors to prescribe pot to certain patients. But federal law and no state infrastructure for dispensing and regulating marijuana effectively neuters that law, though it remains on the books.
Today, the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare voted to defer Senate Bill 541 from state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Breaux Bridge. That bill deletes the current law and replaces it with a comprehensive means of regulating the prescription of marijuana, including creating a Therapeutic Marijuana Utilization Review Board and coordinating authorities with the state's Dept. of Agriculture and Forestry, the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy and the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners. The committee voted 6-2 against the bill. (Sens. Bret Allain, Sherri Buffington, Dan Claitor, Dale Erdey, Elbert Guillory and Ben Nevers voted to defer the bill; Mills and Sen. Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb voted against the motion.)
In January, Gov. Bobby Jindal said he would be open to medical marijuana "if there is a legitimate medical need" and under "very strict supervision." That month, the Louisiana House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice met with doctors, criminal justice organizations and reform advocates to discuss the "feasibility and effectiveness" of legalizing weed. Legislature filed several marijuana bills that tackle health and criminal justice reforms. Last week, however, a bill to reduce penalties for marijuana possession was also killed in committee.
Music may be in the air right now in New Orleans but the need to entertain and enlighten the little ones never goes away. Friday night, the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC) will present a free outdoor screening of Akeelah and the Bee as part of its Movies in the Park series at Cut-Off Playground, 6600 Belgrade Street. The fictional story of one disadvantaged girl's participation in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the film gently explores issues surrounding inner-city education. It stars Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett.
Like all NORDC screenings this spring, the film will be preceded by fun fitness activities with instructors from the Fit NOLA Parks program, starting at 7:05. The movie will follow about 30 minutes later at sunset. Blankets and chairs are encouraged.
On the heels of its third annual Bike to Work Day earlier this month, the New Orleans bicycle advocacy group Bike Easy has powered up weekly bike trains to keep people self-propelled on their commutes.
Bike trains are groups of bikers who ride to work together, led by a volunteer conductor. The trains are for everyone, from experienced riders to new ones, and aim to not only help beginners negotiate routes, rules of the road, potholes and other obstacles, but also to encourage a solid biking community for commuters.
Two Mid-City routes leave Bayou St. John at Orleans Avenue each Thursday at 7:45 a.m. One train heads to UNO and the other ends in the CBD. A Friday Uptown ride leaves the St. Charles Avenue entrance of Audubon Park at 7:45 a.m. and ends in the CBD. That train will stop at St. Charles Avenue and Antonine Street at 8:15 a.m. to pick up more riders.
Bike Easy is considering additional routes, too. Visit the organization's website for more information and to see route maps of the weekly rides.
Thanks to efforts like these, the Alliance for Biking and Walking recently ranked New Orleans eighth in the nation for bike commuting for 2014. That's up two spots from 2013, when New Orleans ranked 10th.
Hurray for the Riff Raff appeared on last night's Conan on TBS, hosting the band for its first-ever late-night TV appearance. The band — fronted by Alynda Lee Segarra in a Nudie Suit-esque outfit — performed "I Know It's Wrong (But That's Alright)" from the band's excellent ATO Records release Small Town Heroes. The band also performed "End of the Line" as a web-only extra. Watch both videos below. (Read Gambit's interview with Segarra here.)
The band will perform on the Late Show with David Letterman on June 26. Meanwhile, Hurray for the Riff Raff heads to One Eyed Jacks with Charles Bradley on Thursday, May 1 and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on Friday, May 2, followed by a show at First Presbyterian Church with Como Mamas and The Deslondes.
Those working in the CBD and Warehouse District still mourning the loss of A Mano have a new spot for antipasta and Italian wines with the arrival of Marcello’s Wine Bar and Bistro.
While the restaurant may appear to be an intimate affair from the street, stepping into the foyer reveals an elegant, expansive space filled with wine barrels and wine-themed décor. (It’s almost exactly what I imagine the setting of Billy Joel’s Scenes from an Italian Restaurant to look like.)
Two college baseball games are happening tonight.
Alcorn State @ LSU #8 (33-11-1)
6:30 p.m. • Alex Box Stadium, Baton Rouge
Parker Bugg (2-1, 1.65 ERA) makes his first collegiate start tonight for the Tigers.
Nicholls State @ Tulane (17-24)
6:30 p.m. • Turchin Stadium, Uptown
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