Saturday, February 24, 2018

With a smashed camera-shaped piñata, New Orleans immigrants and allies call on City Council to vote against surveillance ordinance

Posted By on Sat, Feb 24, 2018 at 12:25 AM

Congress of Day Laborers and allies stood outside City Hall and smashed a camera-shaped pinata to protest a proposed surveillance network.
  • Congress of Day Laborers and allies stood outside City Hall and smashed a camera-shaped pinata to protest a proposed surveillance network.

A few steps away from the doors of New Orleans City Hall Feb. 24, children swatted at a large colorful pinata in the shape of a security camera, standing in for the proposed massive surveillance network that would give the city access to a live camera feed in the front of every business that sells alcohol. Surrounded by painted cardboard cameras mocking the newly installed cameras with red-and-blue flashing lights, the crowd took turns chanting "no mas cameras!"

Congress of Day Laborers with the New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice fears that the camera network would criminalize immigrant communities put under a constant microscope if that data — streamed into the city's Real Time Crime Monitoring Center — is shared with federal immigration enforcement.

"What we need is to invest in jobs, education and our streets," said Congress of Day Laborers organizer Chloe Sigal. "We don’t need to be pouring more resources into criminalization in our communities."

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Alleging sexual harassment, restaurant workers march on Frenchmen Street venue

Posted By on Fri, Feb 23, 2018 at 10:35 PM

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A chanting, sign-waving, megaphone-wielding crowd of hospitality workers and their supporters staged a march that converged on Frenchmen Street restaurant and nightclub Bamboula's Feb. 23, in protest of what they say was the sexual harassment of one of the group's members.

Holding signs that said "We demand real change; John Besh just retired early" and "Sexual harassment should not be 'just a part' of my waitress job" and "Expect resistance," a raucous group of about 50 people eventually lined up on either side of the doorway of Bamboula's, surrounding the restaurant. While a security guard looked on and uniformed New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) officers barred the door, a former Bamboula's employee alleging sexual harassment at her prior workplace took up a megaphone and addressed the crowd.

"This place told me I didn't matter. ... This place told me my body isn't mine," the woman, who asked to be identified by her first name, Julianna, said. "I am here not just for myself, but for every single woman in the service industry in New Orleans; no more!"

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Measuring Louisiana's 'fiscal cliff'

Posted By on Fri, Feb 23, 2018 at 3:29 PM

PHOTO BY CHRIS POTTER/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • PHOTO BY CHRIS POTTER/CREATIVE COMMONS

Exactly how high is Louisiana’s “fiscal cliff” anyway? It depends on whom you ask. Some say it’s nearly $1.3 billion, while others say it’s more like $994 million, and still others say it’s closer to $692 million — or less.

Interestingly, they’re all looking at the same cliff. It’s all a matter of perspective, but it’s important to start with some facts and figures on which everyone agrees.

When Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Legislature took office in January 2016, Louisiana faced a $1 billion mid-year budget deficit and a nearly $2 billion “structural” deficit (a term applied to Louisiana’s finances by Moody’s Investors Service) for the ensuing fiscal year — courtesy of former Gov. Bobby Jindal’s irresponsible fiscal policies.

In fairness, Jindal had help from the preceding Legislature, which included many current lawmakers. They bought into his fiscal fantasies knowing it was all bunk, so they don’t get a pass on the current mess.

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Wes Anderson series screens at Prytania beginning March 25

Posted By on Fri, Feb 23, 2018 at 11:39 AM

Isle of Dogs, Anderson's newest film, is scheduled for release in March.
  • Isle of Dogs, Anderson's newest film, is scheduled for release in March.

Prytania Theatre will screen a short series of films by director Wes Anderson beginning in March.

Anderson's films (The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou), are recognizable for their arresting visual style (including painstakingly designed sets), ironic dialogue and for Anderson's keen sense of the absurd. Many of his movies also feature a tongue-in-cheek but tender look at the self-seriousnessness of childhood and early adolescence.

This series screens in anticipation of Anderson's newest movie, Isle of Dogs, which is a goofy-looking stop-motion animated fantasy about a Japanese island populated only by dogs. Its voice cast includes frequent Anderson collaborators Bill Murray and Edward Norton. It's set for release in March.

The screenings begin with Anderson's first feature film, Bottle Rocket, on March 25. Films screen Sundays at 10 p.m. Here's the full schedule:

March 25: Bottle Rocket at 10 p.m.

April 1: Fantastic Mr. Fox at 10 p.m.

April 15: The Grand Budapest Hotel at 10 p.m.

April 22: The Darjeeling Limited at 10 p.m.

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Hansen's Sno-Bliz opens Feb. 27 and bar and Paradigm Garden news

Posted By on Fri, Feb 23, 2018 at 11:13 AM

Hansen's Sno-Bliz will kick off it's 79th season next week, on Feb. 27. - COURTESY HANSEN'S SNO-BLIZ/FACEBOOK
  • COURTESY HANSEN'S SNO-BLIZ/FACEBOOK
  • Hansen's Sno-Bliz will kick off it's 79th season next week, on Feb. 27.

Snowball favorite Hansen's Sno-Bliz (4801 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-891-9788) will open Tuesday, Feb. 27.

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Jazz & Heritage Foundation's Sync Up workshop features rock manager Elliot Roberts Feb. 28

Posted By on Thu, Feb 22, 2018 at 3:17 PM

Elliot Robers (left) will be interviewed by Warren Zanes at a Sync Up workshop. - COURTESY JAZZ & HERITAGE FOUNDATION
  • COURTESY JAZZ & HERITAGE FOUNDATION
  • Elliot Robers (left) will be interviewed by Warren Zanes at a Sync Up workshop.

For 10 years, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation has hosted the Sync Up conference during the Jazz & Heritage Festival. It typically focuses on business and technology issues, such as licensing music in films, TV and other media. This year, the foundation has changed the format into a series of monthly workshops. The next installment is Feb. 28 with band manager Elliot Roberts, who has worked with Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Talking Heads, Devo, Tracy Chapman, Tom Petty and many others. He will be interviewed by Warren Zanes, who published a biography of Petty. Zanes also performed in the Del Fuegos and is a former vice president of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Editorial: Listen to the survivors

Posted By on Thu, Feb 22, 2018 at 2:41 PM

This demonstration was organized by Teens For Gun Reform, an organization created by students in the Washington DC area, in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. - PHOTO BY LORIE SHAULL/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • PHOTO BY LORIE SHAULL/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • This demonstration was organized by Teens For Gun Reform, an organization created by students in the Washington DC area, in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The murder of 17 people during a school shooting in Parkland, Florida on February 14 has renewed America’s national debate over gun laws. After similar tragedies in recent years, that debate yielded nothing of substance, but this time things are different. This time, the surviving students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are giving us all a lesson in speaking truth to power. This is not a new phenomenon. Students also helped lead the civil rights movement several generations ago.

Let’s not lose this moment, because the forces behind the status quo are powerful, indeed.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the National Rifle Association (NRA), which aggressively promotes the interests of gun manufacturers, spent $54.4 million on all political campaigns in the 2016 election cycle. That more than anything else explains why past mass shootings have not led to meaningful changes in America’s gun laws.

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'You’re gonna dance your butts off': The Revolution's Brownmark on his audition for Prince and reuniting the band

Posted By on Thu, Feb 22, 2018 at 10:00 AM

PHOTO BY BILLY BRIGGS
  • PHOTO BY BILLY BRIGGS

On April 25, 2016, New Orleans held a massive purple-hued second line memorial for Prince, who died a few days earlier at his Paisley Park home. His last performance in New Orleans, inside the Superdome at the 2014 Essence Festival, came nearly 30 years after his debut inside that same venue, during a 1985 run of his landmark Purple Rain tour.

Performing alongside him was the classic lineup of The Revolution — Wendy and Lisa, Dr. Fink, Bobby Z., and Brownmark. That lineup — which began to take shape with 1999 and contributed to a classic streak of Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day and Parade, as well as legendary live shows — reunited in the wake of Prince's death and returns to New Orleans Feb. 22. (The band plays The Joy Theater, which screened Purple Rain in 1984.)

Read more from Gambit's interview with Mark Brown, aka bassist and multi-instrumentalist Brownmark, on his audition for Prince, getting the band back together, and how bass players get Prince wrong.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Second line for Mr. Okra set for Feb. 25

Posted By on Wed, Feb 21, 2018 at 4:45 PM

Mr. Okra at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. - PHOTO BY FRANK ETHERIDGE
  • PHOTO BY FRANK ETHERIDGE
  • Mr. Okra at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

A second line honoring Arthur "Mr. Okra" Robinson will immediately follow his walk-through visitation services on Sunday, Feb. 25.

Robinson — the iconic singing produce vendor whose brightly colored truck toured New Orleans neighborhoods for years — died Feb. 15 at age 75.

Visitation is at Marigny Opera House from 1 p.m.-2:40 p.m., after which the doors will close and Robinson's family, a brass band and police escort will lead a second line through the Marigny. It moves down Dauphine Street toward Lesseps Street in Bywater, turns left on Lesseps, and concludes at BJ's Lounge (4301 Burgundy St.).

Joining the second line are Kinfolk Brass Band and Darryl “Dancingman504” Young.

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'Open Kitchens' panel at Loyola celebrates women chefs and restaurateurs Mar. 12

Posted By on Wed, Feb 21, 2018 at 11:12 AM

Leah Chase and Ella Brennan will be honored at Loyola's Open Kitchens event Mar. 12, which honors women in the New Orleans' culinary scene. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Leah Chase and Ella Brennan will be honored at Loyola's Open Kitchens event Mar. 12, which honors women in the New Orleans' culinary scene.

From issues of sexual harassment, income inequality and unequal gender representation, women and their role in professional kitchens have been the subject of a lot of talk this past year. On March 12, Loyola University hosts a panel to honor female culinary entrepreneurs and discuss the challenges and triumphs of women in the New Orleans restaurant industry.

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