Monday, May 15, 2017

Y@ Speak: taking them down, part 3

Posted By on Mon, May 15, 2017 at 7:10 PM

This week: The lingering sunscreen fog of Jazz Fest dads, a monument to the specter of slavery gets yellow suspenders and a green bubble wrap diaper, and a ton of people roasted it completely. Also, Sen. John Kennedy got some embarrassing national attention.

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Louisiana House passes bill that aims to put monument removal to a vote

Posted By on Mon, May 15, 2017 at 6:53 PM

During demonstrations on May 7, monument opponents stood behind a supporter who gave the finger to other opponents at Lee Circle - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • During demonstrations on May 7, monument opponents stood behind a supporter who gave the finger to other opponents at Lee Circle

Despite powerful testimony from several black lawmakers urging the Louisiana House of Representatives to vote against a measure that aims to prevent the removal of Confederate monuments, the bill passed by a vote of 65-31 on May 15. It now heads to the Senate.

House Bill 71 from state State Rep. Thomas Carmody, R-Shreveport, prevents "altering, removing, relocating, or destroying a memorial, including any structure, plaque, statue, or monument that is located on public property and that commemorates specified wars in U.S. history." It also prohibits renaming or rededicating statues, streets, bridges, buildings and parks that are named "in memory of or named for any historical military figure, historical military event, military organization, or military unit." It doesn't list the Civil War among those events, but rather the "War Between the States."

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'Ride of Silence' May 17 commemorates fallen cyclists

Posted By on Mon, May 15, 2017 at 2:00 PM


On Wednesday, New Orleans cyclists will take part in Ride of Silence, an international group ride designed to draw attention to roadway deaths within the bicycle community. Riders are urged to remain silent during the easy-paced 10-mile ride to show respect for people who have been injured or who have died while using public roadways.

Several high-profile traffic deaths and accidents, made more visible by the spectral ghost bikes planted around the city to honor the deceased, have rocked the New Orleans bike community in the past few years. Recently the New Orleans City Council passed a series of ordinances designed to encourage bike safety, including requiring a safe passing distance between cars and bikes and formally prohibiting motorists from harassing or throwing things at cyclists. But advocacy events, like Ride of Silence, may also address the cultural problem of drivers' reluctance to share the road.

Riders should meet at the St. Charles Avenue entrance to Audubon Park at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Helmets are encouraged. It's free to attend.

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NOLA Caribbean Festival is June 24-25

Posted By on Mon, May 15, 2017 at 11:43 AM


The NOLA Caribbean Festival is June 24-25 at Central City BBQ. The lineup includes bands and DJs from Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Puerto Rico, Honduras and the U.S., including Etana, I-Majesty, T-Rock, Alexey Marti, Yard Squad Band, Merengue 4 and others.

There will be food from local restaurants and food trucks, a kids' area, a salsa dancing tent, African drumming lessons and a Dancehall Queen competition. The festival is open from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, June 24 and 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday, June 25. Admission is $10.

This is the fourth annual Caribbean festival. Its organizers also created the NOLA Jerk Chicken Festival.

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Gambit's Digital Edition, May 16, 2017

Posted on Mon, May 15, 2017 at 9:32 AM

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Review: Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer

Posted By on Fri, May 12, 2017 at 8:54 PM


Israeli filmmaker Joseph Cedar has a gift for extracting relatable and dramatically compelling stories from the hidden depths of Jewish culture. Remarkably, his 2011 film Footnote wrung high drama from a tale of rival father-and-son Talmudic scholars in modern-day Jerusalem, earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

Cedar’s first English-language film is Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, which portrays elite segments of New York City’s Jewish community as filtered through the experiences of one Norman Oppenheimer (Richard Gere). The fixer of the title is code for the lesser-known Yiddish word “macher,” which translates as “a person who gets things done.” The term also is used ironically to describe one who does things others won’t do to oil the social machinery and help people get what they want — all of which applies to Norman in spades.

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SMOR poll: no easy answers

Posted By on Fri, May 12, 2017 at 4:20 PM

Gov. John Bel Edwards out-polls President Donald Trump in a recent survey. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Gov. John Bel Edwards out-polls President Donald Trump in a recent survey.

The annual spring survey of Louisiana voters by Southern Media and Opinion Research (SMOR) has mixed news for our state’s politicians. That shouldn’t surprise, given the mixed signals coming out of Baton Rouge.

The bad news for all elected officials is a majority of the state’s voters (52 percent) think Louisiana is going down the tubes, or, as pollsters call it, “headed in the wrong direction.” Roughly 32 percent believe we’re headed in the right direction, while 16 percent don’t know where we’re headed. Considering state lawmakers currently are vexed over how to solve a massive budget problem, the latter group actually may have got it right.

The good news for Gov. John Bel Edwards is he continues to get positive reviews overall despite voters’ gloomy outlook for the state. The bad news for him is that his numbers have slipped since just last autumn. His latest “job performance” ratings show him with an overall 53.8 percent “positive” rating compared to a 42 percent “negative” rating.

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House approves bill adding "dating partner" protections to domestic violence laws

Posted By on Fri, May 12, 2017 at 3:00 PM


Legislators in Baton Rouge agree that "dating partners" — not just spouses and family members — should be included in domestic violence protections. The Louisiana House of Representatives voted May 11 to extend those protections, including preventing offenders from carrying firearms, to dating partners — a distinction applied in 41 other states.

The House voted 59-30 to approve New Orleans Democratic state Rep. Helena Moreno's House Bill 223, which now heads to the state Senate for approval.

It's a significant arm twist to the National Rifle Association (NRA), whose grip on legislators effectively killed several measures over the years that would prevent violent offenders from possessing firearms. The NRA argued "dating partners" encompasses too broad a group — despite reports from the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence showing that, in 2016 alone, 60 percent of Louisiana's intimate partner homicide victims were not married to their abuser.

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

"Dinner and ZOOvie" film schedule announced

Posted By on Thu, May 11, 2017 at 3:21 PM

  • Trolls

The Audubon Zoo (6500 Magazine St.) has announced the lineup for this summer's "Dinner and ZOOvie" film series (see below). The Cool Zoo/Gator Run water park opens at 6:00 p.m. and films begin at 8:00 p.m. Attendees are invited to bring their own food or buy from on-site food trucks and zoo restaurants. Chairs and blankets are recommended. Optional admission to Cool Zoo/Gator Run is $6 per person and admission to the screenings is another $6 per person. More information is here.

June 2 — Moana

June 16 — The Secret Life of Pets

June 30 — The LEGO Batman Movie

July 14 — Finding Dory

July 28 — Trolls

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Jefferson Davis comes down, second of four Confederate-era monuments removed in New Orleans

Posted By on Thu, May 11, 2017 at 6:20 AM

A crane lifts a statue of Jefferson Davis off its pedestal May 11. - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • A crane lifts a statue of Jefferson Davis off its pedestal May 11.

Just after 5 a.m. May 11, the city removed the statue of Jefferson Davis from its pedestal overlooking Canal Street in Mid-City. The monument to the former president of the Confederacy — captured 152 years and one day to the date of the statue's removal — is the second of four Confederate-era monuments scheduled for removal by the city. Crews removed the Battle of Liberty Place obelisk last month.

Dozens of law enforcement surrounded Canal Street and Jefferson Davis Parkway, blocked in all directions as construction crews brought in a crane, a Budget rental truck with materials, and other equipment. Crews wore dark clothing, helmets and body armor, as they did during the Liberty monument removal.

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