New Orleans Life

Monday, October 16, 2017

Y@ Speak: Election, Round 2

Posted By on Mon, Oct 16, 2017 at 6:15 PM


Thirty-two percent of New Orleans voters turned out to vote for mayor and City Council members Oct. 14, and Twitter celebrated with 69 jokes and speculation about never being able to afford living here again, followed by a weekly three-hour-long heart attack courtesy of Big Football. Also: Goodbye, Adrian Peterson, and hello, all of the water you stocked up for Nate.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

New Orleans Youth Open Mic kicks off fall season at Ashe

Posted By on Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 9:00 AM

COURTESY NEW ORLEANS YOUTH OPEN MIC
  • COURTESY NEW ORLEANS YOUTH OPEN MIC

Now in its fourth year, the New Orleans Youth Open Mic begins its fall season Oct. 18 at Ashe Cultural Arts Center, opening a space for young people to showcase their voice, whether in poetry, prose, rap or other mediums.

Organizers noticed a pattern in poetry scenes around the U.S. where "the best adult scenes have well-supported youth scenes and poetry pipelines," says cofounder Mwende Katwiwa. While New Orleans has developed space for the success of local adult writers and slam poetry competitors, "we don’t necessarily have the next generation set up to do the same," she says.

Sign up begins at 6 p.m. and the events start at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 18, Nov. 15, and Dec. 13 at Ashe Cultural Arts Center (1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.). It's open to people in the seventh-12th grade age range.

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Monday, October 9, 2017

Y@ Speak: out past curfew

Posted By on Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Sean Payton learns about guns, Hurricane Nate brushes past New Orleans, and everyone makes plans for the pallets of soup and bottled water sitting on the kitchen counter.

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Friday, October 6, 2017

Mandatory curfew kicks in Saturday night in New Orleans as Nate approaches

Posted By on Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 4:45 PM

Nate's forecast as of 4 p.m. Oct. 6 - NOAA/NWS
  • NOAA/NWS
  • Nate's forecast as of 4 p.m. Oct. 6
Update: City Hall and NOPD clarified the start of the curfew will be moved up from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced a curfew for New Orleans residents to stay off the streets from 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7 through Sunday morning — and possibly later — to avoid potential wind damage and floodwaters from Tropical Storm Nate, which is expected to become a Category 1 hurricane over the weekend. "Do the best you can to stay off the streets," Landrieu said at a City Hall press conference Oct. 6.

New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) will enforce that curfew; NOPD Chief Michael Harrison urged residents to "adhere to that curfew."

At that time, NOPD will set up barricades and close all underpasses. City officials told residents to find alternate routes. NOPD announced that officers will take "strong enforcement action against anyone found circumventing barricades or found in violation of curfew." Once winds go above 35 mph, the city will suspend public transit.

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Thursday, October 5, 2017

State of emergency issued for New Orleans as Tropical Storm Nate prepares to enter Gulf of Mexico

Posted By on Thu, Oct 5, 2017 at 6:40 PM

Tropical Storm Nate's trajectory as of 4 p.m. Oct. 5. - NOAA/NWS
  • NOAA/NWS
  • Tropical Storm Nate's trajectory as of 4 p.m. Oct. 5.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu has declared a state of emergency for New Orleans, which could endure heavy rains and winds as Tropical Storm Nate moves into the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane.

By early Saturday morning, Nate is expected to move into the Gulf, where the National Weather Service (NWS) expects the storm will strengthen to Category 1 hurricane before it makes landfall on Sunday.

City officials expect the storm to bring 3 to 6 inches of rain over the weekend, and the NWS warns "the threat of direct impacts from wind, storm surge and heavy rainfall is increasing from Louisiana through the Florida panhandle." A hurricane watch and storm surge watch will likely be issued Friday.

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Y@ Speak: patriot games

Posted By on Mon, Oct 2, 2017 at 12:30 PM

The Saints go to London, KISS comes to Gretna, and Sen. Bill Cassidy beefs.

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Y@ Speak takes a knee

Posted By on Mon, Sep 25, 2017 at 5:41 PM

A week of boil water advisories, Cassidy-Graham, Frank Scurlock's Uber adventures, and the president's war against silent protest.

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Y@ Speak: when squirrels attack

Posted By on Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 5:30 PM

This week's episode chronicles the squirrel insurrection, Sen. Bill Cassidy's health care crusade, and the collapse of the New Orleans Saints.

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Email shows local short-term rental industry sought to raise funds for City Council candidates Ramsey, Maklansky

Posted By and on Sat, Sep 16, 2017 at 1:59 PM

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Editor's note: This story has been revised to include the information that District A candidate Joe Giarrusso returned a $250 contribution by Alliance for Neighborhood Prosperity president Eric Bay on Sept. 2, the day it was made. Maklansky also contacted Gambit to say she did not remember receiving a check from the Alliance for Neighborhood Prosperity in early July, and that she was returning the money. She had declined to accept a $1,000 check from the organization in August.

Less than six months into implementation of the city’s short-term rental (STR) ordinance, the leading local proponent of expanded STRs is raising money for some City Council candidates “who have pledged to work with us,” according to an email sent by the pro-STR Alliance for Neighborhood Prosperity (ANP). In the email, ANP makes clear that the organization seeks to expand the “footprint of inclusion” for STRs and increase “both day count and occupancy permitted” in the city’s STR ordinance.

An ANP email sent last month titled "Call to Arms and Action-All Members City Wide" asked the group’s members and supporters to help raise campaign money by attending fundraisers for two council candidates in particular — District C incumbent Nadine Ramsey and District A hopeful Aylin Acikalin Maklansky, who until recently served as Ramsey’s legislative director. In addition to hosting fundraisers for Ramsey and Maklansky, ANP and its president have contributed to several other council candidates directly.

"Both are Equally important to our futures," the email said, "as their contending opposing candidates have announced anti-STR sentiment and prioritized restrictions going forward if elected. Please make every effort to contribute online and if unable to attend. Support your future by supporting those who have pledged to work with us."

Asked about the efforts by ANP, Ramsey told Gambit she initially didn’t know about the fundraiser, which is scheduled for Sept. 19 at Schoen Funeral Home on Canal Street in Mid-City, which is not in District C. Ramsey said after she became aware of the email’s language — particularly its suggestion that she was committed to expanding STRs into the French Quarter — she told her campaign to cancel the event. If it is held anyway, Ramsey told Gambit, she said she would not attend.

“We didn’t know they were doing it with the intent to change policy,” Ramsey said.

Maklansky told Gambit that the email came to her campaign’s attention only after she had committed to an event scheduled for Aug. 29 at a home owned by Michelle LeBlanc in the Black Pearl neighborhood, which Maklansky characterized as a “meet and greet” rather than a fundraiser. The property, known as Oulala House, is listed on the short-term rental website VRBO and is advertised at an average price of $680 a night. The email listed the event and address and asked STR supporters to “support your future by supporting those who have pledged to work with us.” Maklansky said the event had no bearing on her support (or lack thereof) for short-term rentals.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Here's what riders had to say at public meetings about RTA's future

Posted By on Fri, Sep 15, 2017 at 5:04 PM

A meeting participant selects preferred "premium transit corridors."
  • A meeting participant selects preferred "premium transit corridors."

At two public workshops held at New Orleans Public Library branches this week, New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) riders were alternately enthusiastic and skeptical about elements that could be incorporated into the Strategic Mobility Plan set to roll out at the end of this year.

The workshops were part of a five-part series attended by over 100 people in New Orleans and Kenner, where participants took part in two exercises demonstrating the moving parts of a functional transit system. In one exercise, participants used pushpins to highlight routes among 13 potential "premium transit corridors" that could see expanded service. In another, they joined breakout groups to work to spend an imagined budget of $100 on different system enhancements, such as faster, more frequent service; retooled fare plans; modernized shelters at stops; park-and-ride areas and other options.

"Ideally, we'd have the best transit system in the world. Unfortunately, we only have so much money," Alex Miller, an urban planner with the Asakura Robinson team consulting on the Strategic Mobility Plan, explained.

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