Tuesday, August 15, 2017

City Hall issues call for reports on S&WB failures; repair costs hit $35 million

Posted By on Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 5:45 PM

Flooding near Banks and Carrollton Aug. 5. - PHOTO BY KEVIN ALLMAN
  • Flooding near Banks and Carrollton Aug. 5.

As New Orleans officials continue daily updates revealing deep dysfunction at the beleaguered Sewerage & Water Board, the city has put out a call for firms to diagnose the issues leading up to and after Aug. 5 flooding. According to FEMA, more than 800 insurance claims have been filed through its National Flood Insurance Program.

The city is requesting proposals from firms to "deliver a report that details in narrative, diagrams and data the causes of the flood events" and failure of its drainage pump-powering turbines, according to an announcement from Mayor Mitch Landrieu's office.

The statement says "the analysis will provide clear and accurate information to the public from an independent source regarding the system’s capacity and vulnerabilities that can be communicated to the public."

Proposals are due Aug. 21.

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Y@ Speak: Invest-ed

Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2016 at 5:40 PM

President Obama visits Louisiana following the August floods, Invest 99 Luftballoons pops its head into the Gulf, the Saints pick up some Duraflame logs to get started on this season's tire fire, and more from the final hours of The Worst Month.

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Y@ Speak: after the flood

Posted By on Mon, Aug 22, 2016 at 6:35 PM

The media's response, the lack of a response from the media, the governor, Trump, important phone numbers and donation information, rescue and relief, and neighbors helping neighbors  — a week of tweets following Louisiana's August flooding.

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

New Orleans Public Library hosts food drive for flood victims, plus more donation drop points

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 at 2:48 PM

All New Orleans Public Library locations will collect dry and non-perishable food items as part of a food drive to benefit flood victims, it announced in a statement this morning.

Library Marketing and Communications Director John Marc Sharpe described food as "the most critical need" and called for donations of shelf-stable items such as canned fruit and vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, soup, beans, chili, pasta, rice, cereal and peanut butter, as well as supplements including protein bars and Ensure. Each library will have a donation box. Goods ultimately will be distributed to Second Harvest Food Bank

Relief efforts continue after last weekend's historic flooding wreaked havoc on the state, potentially leaving thousands homeless. Below, find additions to Gambit's early list of places to donate or get involved.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Where to help Louisiana flood victims: Donation drop points around New Orleans

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 12:01 PM

click image Shawn Wilson, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, tweeted these photos Aug. 13 of the historic floods in central Louisiana. - TWITTER/@ONEVISIONARY
  • TWITTER/@onevisionary
  • Shawn Wilson, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, tweeted these photos Aug. 13 of the historic floods in central Louisiana.

After several days of record-setting rainfall, devastating floodwaters poured into much of Southeast Louisiana this weekend, including East Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Ascension and surrounding parishes. Multiple news organizations are reporting the rescue of more than 20,000 people from homes and vehicles as of Sunday.

As many New Orleanians know well, flooding robs families of resources large and small: it's not just cars and homes, but day-to-day personal effects, from clothes and blankets to shampoo and toothbrushes. Here's our ongoing list of sites to donate these much-needed supplies to flood victims, as well as several contacts for direct donations and volunteer opportunities. 

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Atlantic conference discusses "New Orleans: Ten Years Later" after Hurricane Katrina

Posted By on Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 11:32 AM

Mayor Mitch Landrieu, left, being interviewed by The Atlantic national correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg.
  • Mayor Mitch Landrieu, left, being interviewed by The Atlantic national correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg.

This week will see dozens of events related to the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the federal floods, and today saw one of the biggest — The Atlantic's "New Orleans: Ten Years Later" conference at the Sheraton New Orleans. 

After an introduction by The Atlantic's editor in chief James Bennet, Gwen Ifill of PBS News Hour introduced writer/filmmaker Lolis Eric Elie, New Orleans native and national student poet Madeleine LeCesne, VAYLA executive director Minh Nguyen, writer Chris Rose, former City Councilman Oliver Thomas and Tracie Washington of the Louisiana Justice Center. 

Washington had the crowd's attention, questioning the city's recovery pointing out that 50 percent of black children in the city live in poverty — more than before the storm —  adding that special needs children are being ignored in the New Orleans school system. She also took exception to "resilient," which has emerged as the buzzword du jour of Katrina recovery. "I'm not resilient," she said, scoffing. “I have a right not to be resilient!”

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

St. Roch Park set to open summer 2013

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 5:51 PM

The dugout of the St. Roch Park from its perimeter fence.
  • The dugout of the St. Roch Park from its perimeter fence.

The $1.8 million park project anchoring St. Roch Avenue should wrap before summer, according to city officials who announced the plans from outside the park gates this afternoon. Construction on the park's pool, however, will wait as the city and park planners gather more funding — the city already has $400,000 from FEMA dedicated to restoring the existing pool. A new indoor pool is unlikely and would cost millions, officials said.

Vincent Smith, the city's director of capital projects, said the park should open in time for NORD's 2013 summer programming. "Right now we've just got the $400,000," he said. "It's going to be a process to raise additional funding." NORD director Vic Richard added, "If we get the park up June 1, the community will be proud of it."

The park (third oldest in the city) and Harold Sampson playground sits between the St. Roch Community Church and the St. Roch Cemetery. The park is currently bare and stripped of grass and amenities. Updates will include a baseball field and resurfaced basketball court, with repairs to the fences and gates, restroom facilities and concession stand. District C city councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer said that the neighborhood "has not seen a lot of investment historically," but thanked the St. Roch Neighborhood Improvement Association and neighbors for driving interest in its revitalization. The park project will anchor the neutral ground — on its other end, the St. Roch Market, which is scheduled to open in March. The market links the park via a neutral ground park space with benches and "art walk" — which is roughly completed.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Jon Johnson to plead guilty to conspiracy to defraud U.S. gov't

Posted By on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 10:13 AM

District E City Councilman Jon Johnson is in federal court this morning and will plead guilty on charges of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government in connection with his nonprofit the Ninth Ward Housing Development Corporation.

The bill of information says from 2006 to 2008, Johnson misused federal FEMA dollars earmarked for the nonprofit to fund his 2007 state senate campaign.

Find a copy of the bill of information with Johnson's charges here. We'll have more later this morning.

UPDATE: Johnson's statement, in which he admits guilt, under the jump. He will be sentenced Oct. 25.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Public Transit Tuesdays: Galvez

Posted By on Tue, May 22, 2012 at 10:43 PM

Like the Broad bus route, the Galvez bus route is pretty long and goes from the edge of Uptown to the 9th Ward, passing through the 6th, 7th and 8th Wards. Another commonality is that when riding along these routes, you'll see that we are still nowhere near being finished with rebuilding after almost seven years. Is it government corruption? Laziness? Lack of resources? Gentrification? Many 6th Ward residents and shopkeepers believe it's a combination of them all, especially one woman I met who had a lot to say...


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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"Does your child 'sissy bounce'?"

Posted By on Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Hide your college-age children: "sissy bounce" is here to corrupt them — at least according to Christwire, the satirical website that's sort of what The Onion would be if written by Rick Santorum. (Other stories on the site include "4 Satanic and Blood Sex Driven Things Your Daughter Will Do at Coachella" and "Is My Teen Weird? 20 Terrifying New Youth Trends.")

In its "expose" of bounce music (which name-checks Vockah Redu, Sissy Nobby, Big Freedia and Katey Red), Christwire warns:

The sissy show began in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when President Bush ordered the rescue of thousands of African-Americans caught off guard by the Biblical storm. In the well-stocked camps that FEMA generously provided, many urban youths took advantage of their newfound luxury to play around with loud music and interracial dancing. The result was an unpredictable and shocking creation that immediately was condemned as immoral. A transvestite named “Big Freddy” soon left the camps and copyrighted the act, selling it to ghetto rap clubs across the country and reaping millions.

Despite the warnings, “Sissy Dancing” grew in popularity and, through the efforts of black affirmative action students, made the transition over to the white population on college campuses.

Ouch. Not surprisingly, in our post-Derbyshire world, more than a few commenters missed the joke or just plain didn't like it. To read the whole thing in its R-rated, possibly not-safe-for-work glory, go here, and remember: "They could care less how nice these girls are or if they’re studying art history."

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