Thursday, August 17, 2017

New Orleans City Council approves $34 million drainage budget after August flooding

Posted By on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 6:55 PM

Street flooding in New Orleans Aug. 5. - PHOTO BY WILL COVIELLO
  • PHOTO BY WILL COVIELLO
  • Street flooding in New Orleans Aug. 5.

The New Orleans City Council has approved nearly $34 million to cover drainage repair and flood response in the wake of August flooding and systemic failures throughout the Sewerage & Water Board (S&WB) and Department of Public Works (DPW). That $34 million includes $22 million for repairs through DPW and $11.9 from the general fund to target drainage and bulk up future flood prevention.

But members of the Council dodged a vote to approve two new appointments to the S&WB without assurance from City Hall that they're qualified, particularly after the last several days of dysfunction.

More than $14 million from bond funding already is budgeted for catch basin and drainage repair. Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration requested $11.9 million from the general fund, including $7.8 million for emergency drainage repairs, $650,000 for alarm systems and warning signals, $3 million for Homeland Security readiness, and $500,000 for a so-called "after-action" report to determine what went wrong throughout the city's S&WB system before, during and after Aug. 5 floods. Landrieu opened a request for proposals for that report Aug. 15.

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Editorial: After Charlottesville

Posted By on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 6:09 PM

Charlottesville, Virginia, Aug. 12, 2017. - CREATIVE COMMONS/ANTHONY CRIDER
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/ANTHONY CRIDER
  • Charlottesville, Virginia, Aug. 12, 2017.

Watching the images and hearing the words out of Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend was depressing, sickening, infuriating — and necessary. Necessary because the country got a good look at the people who call themselves the “alt-right,” which is their sanitized term for neo-Nazis, white supremacists, Klansmen and other haters who feel emboldened in America today. It’s also necessary because some of them are planning similar rallies in Boston, San Francisco and elsewhere in the coming days and weeks.

Some of the malefactors who caused harm in Charlottesville also were in New Orleans during the weeks surrounding the hotly contested removal of four Confederate monuments. It’s easy to say New Orleans was lucky it didn’t have the chaos and death that marked Charlottesville, but it was more than luck. It was planning.

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Rene Brunet Jr., theater owner and passionate film enthusiast, dies at 95

Posted By on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 5:51 PM

Rene Brunet, proprietor of the Prytania Theater, photographed in the theater's projection room in 2014. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Rene Brunet, proprietor of the Prytania Theater, photographed in the theater's projection room in 2014.

Rene Brunet Jr., who spent his life running New Orleans movie houses, was a familiar face at the Prytania Theatre, which he bought in 1996. Brunet died Thursday. He was 95.

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New Louisiana Children's Museum facility breaks ground in City Park this month

Posted By on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 3:05 PM

An aerial rendering of the new Louisiana Children's Museum facility in City Park, which breaks ground this month. - IMAGE BY MITHUN
  • IMAGE BY MITHUN
  • An aerial rendering of the new Louisiana Children's Museum facility in City Park, which breaks ground this month.

This month, the Louisiana Children’s Museum (LCM) officially breaks ground on its new home in City Park, with ambitious plans to offer ground-breaking programming to improve child welfare in New Orleans.

“Our focus on interactive learning and play remains the same,” says Julia Bland, CEO of LCM. “Another big focus is on parent education. It’s the adults that make the decisions … and to be able to help parents in their most important role as their child’s first teacher is exciting.”

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There's a heat advisory in New Orleans today

Posted By on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 10:54 AM

RUSTY CLARK / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0
  • RUSTY CLARK / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0

The City of New Orleans issued a press release last night announcing a heat advisory from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. Due to high humidity levels, heat indices (you know, "feels like") may reach 105 to 110 degrees, meaning you should be cautious about your outdoor activities — and definitely move that noon run to an air-conditioned indoor treadmill.

Other tips from the city: wear loose, light-fitting clothes, don't wait until you're thirsty to drink water, and try to stay indoors until the cooler evening hours. And senior folks, the very young and people with health issues are especially sensitive to heat — on hot days like this, it's a good idea to call on elderly neighbors and make sure their air conditioning is working. Also, keep pets indoors.

The city lists several daytime and nighttime heat shelters online.

Review: Caligula

Posted By on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 10:49 AM

Ian Hoch stars in Caligula. - JASON KRUPPA
  • JASON KRUPPA
  • Ian Hoch stars in Caligula.

Every era has its tyrants. We’ve got Kim Jong-un. Not long ago, there was Idi Amin and Radovan Karadzic. When Albert Camus wrote Caligula about the crazed Roman emperor, the playwright was living in Nazi-occupied Paris, ruled by Adolf Hitler. Under these regimes, the despots ultimately brought destruction on their own people. That absurdity is the premise of Camus’ play, presented in a powerful and terrifying performance at Castillo Blanco Art Studios by Cripple Creek Theatre Company.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Free admission for Louisianans to NOMA, Ogden Museum and CAC Aug. 17

Posted By on Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 5:58 PM

Ogden Museum of Southern Art
  • Ogden Museum of Southern Art

The Helis Foundation is providing free admission for Louisiana residents to the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) on Thursday, Aug. 17. The offer also is good for Ogden After Hours. The CAC will give away free iced coffee.

Helis regularly supports free admission for Louisiana residents at local museums on specific days, including NOMA and the New Orleans Botanical Garden on Wednesdays, Ogden Museum on Thursdays and CAC on Sundays. It also sponsors one free day at the Louisiana Children's Museum every other month.

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New Orleans City Council to hold meeting on Sewerage & Water Board updates

Posted By on Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 4:12 PM

A van drives through Mid-City floodwaters Aug. 5. - PHOTO BY KEVIN ALLMAN
  • PHOTO BY KEVIN ALLMAN
  • A van drives through Mid-City floodwaters Aug. 5.

Sewerage & Water Board (S&WB) staff and city officials will face members of the New Orleans City Council a second time after daily revelations about the city's drainage infrastructure have shown deep dysfunction and frustration within the agency and at City Hall.

The meeting is planned for 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17 in City Council chambers at City Hall.

The council also will hear from representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other officials as it vets the city's response to the S&WB's "crisis" and consider legislation dealing with current issues and flood response.

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Big Freedia, Naughty Professor and Big Sam’s Funky Nation to headline Fried Chicken Festival

Posted By on Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 4:02 PM

Big Freedia, Naughty Professor and Big Sam's Funky Nation will headline the National Fried Chicken Festival on Sept. 23 and 24. - COURTESY FRIED CHICKEN FESTIVAL
  • COURTESY FRIED CHICKEN FESTIVAL
  • Big Freedia, Naughty Professor and Big Sam's Funky Nation will headline the National Fried Chicken Festival on Sept. 23 and 24.

Big Freedia, Naughty Professor and Big Sam’s Funky Nation will perform at the National Fried Chicken Festival on Sept. 23-24 in Woldenberg Park, organizers announced Wednesday.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Brewsday Tuesday: Local IPAs gain recognition

Posted By on Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 6:04 PM


Parish Brewing's Ghost in the Machine - PHOTO BY MARK BURLET
  • PHOTO BY MARK BURLET
  • Parish Brewing's Ghost in the Machine

India Pale Ale, or IPA, is the king of the craft beer movement, but it is a continuously  evolving style. The once-popular West Coast-style IPA, known for its bitter and resinous hop character, has been replaced by the New England style: an unfiltered, juicy brew with more floral and citrus character. Other styles, including lower-alcohol session IPA and flavored IPAs, which infuse fruit and spices into the beer, have had their moments as well. No matter which version is trending, though, a big bunch of hops remains the essential ingredient in IPAs.

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