Monday, October 23, 2017

Y@ Speak: reactions to Besh and more from the week in Twitter

Posted By on Mon, Oct 23, 2017 at 5:40 PM

This week: reactions to John Besh and reporting on sexual harassment.

Also: The return of the New Orleans Pelicans and "What does Rob Ryan look like?" (Answer: swole Crockett? Michael McDonald's? Perfect?)

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Get free legal advice at New Orleans libraries this week

Posted By on Mon, Oct 23, 2017 at 1:30 PM


Two library systems in the greater New Orleans area offer free legal advice clinics this week during "Lawyers in Libraries" service week.

New Orleans Public Library and Jefferson Parish Library branches host several events at which attorneys offer 15-minute legal consultations. Lawyers can address topics such as estate planning and power of attorney; divorce and custody issues; and immigration issues.

Registration isn't required and participants will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Times vary, but most events take place in the late morning to early afternoon.

A complete schedule of events by day and location appears below.

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John Besh steps down from his position at the BRG

Posted By on Mon, Oct 23, 2017 at 12:57 PM

John Besh
  • John Besh

Chef John Besh is stepping down from his position at his restaurant group, according to a letter sent to members of the company from a Besh Restaurant Group executive.

The news, first reported by The New Orleans Advocate, comes following a hard-hitting investigation by Brett Anderson at | The Times-Picayune that detailed an alleged culture of sexual harassment at the restaurant group, which employs more than 1,000 people at 12 restaurants.

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Gambit's Digital Edition, October 24, 2017

Posted on Mon, Oct 23, 2017 at 9:07 AM

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Report: John Besh Restaurant Group fostered climate of sexual harassment

Posted By on Sat, Oct 21, 2017 at 4:16 PM

John Besh.
  • John Besh.

It's a story that's been whispered about locally in the last few weeks, ever since it was announced last month that restaurateur and "celebrity chef" John Besh was splitting from Alon Shaya, whose Shaya restaurant (part of the Besh Restaurant Group) turned homemade Israeli food into a dinner ticket as hard to get as Hamilton.  But what caused the falling out? There had to be more to it than chef's egos.
In a blockbuster piece of reporting today, The Times-Picayune |'s Brett Anderson laid out a picture of the Besh Restaurant Group as a company where sexual harassment thrived, citing 25 current and former Besh employees who claim that the "bro culture" was so commonplace there that women were systemically harassed — and revealing that the restaurant group, which included more than 1,000 employees, amazingly had no human resources department where the women could take their concerns:

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Bagneris endorses Cantrell in New Orleans mayoral runoff

Posted By on Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 5:28 PM

Michael Bagneris with Madlyn Bagneris on election night Oct. 14. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • Michael Bagneris with Madlyn Bagneris on election night Oct. 14.

After coming in third in the New Orleans Oct. 14 mayoral primary election, former judge Michael Bagneris has announced his support for LaToya Cantrell in the runoff between the District B City Councilmember and former municipal court judge Desiree Charbonnet. That election is Nov. 18.

The endorsement, first reported by The Times-Picayune |, follows Bagneris' finish in a race with 18 candidates in which he received 18.8 percent of the vote. Cantrell finished with 39 percent, and Charbonnet received 30.5 percent.

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Review: The Florida Project

Posted By on Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 4:50 PM


Though past 40 and on his fourth feature film at the time, director Sean Baker seemed to burst onto the indie scene in 2015 with his vividly imagined Tangerine. It quickly became known as “the iPhone movie” because it was the first major film shot entirely on that device.

Tangerine’s raucous tale of transgender prostitutes on the mean streets of Hollywood struck a chord with audiences, but not for its technical achievements. The heightened reality of the film’s visuals served to frame well-drawn characters and a series of authentic, affecting performances from first-time actors.

For all its successes, Tangerine now seems a warm-up for Baker’s far more accomplished The Florida Project. The director once again tells a story from the margins of society, where resilient characters confront epic struggles one day at a time. But The Florida Project transforms what might have seemed too-familiar territory by telling its story from the perspective of a precocious and uniquely spirited 6-year-old girl.

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Court 13 Arts announces dates and venues for 2017 Always For Pleasure festival

Posted By on Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 3:59 PM

Brimstone & Glory
  • Brimstone & Glory

Court 13 Arts, the non-profit offshoot of the local organization that made the Oscar-nominated Beasts of the Southern Wild in 2012, has announced dates and venues for its annual Always For Pleasure festival. This year's festivities will be held Nov. 16-21 at Court 13 Arts' new facility (2801 Franklin Ave.).

Included as part of the festival will be two film screenings at the Orpheum Theater (129 Roosevelt Way) featuring the local premiere of Brimstone & Glory, a documentary about the weeklong fireworks festival in Tultepec, Mexico that was co-produced by Beasts' Benh Zeitlin. Also included will be Community Screen night for local filmmakers to show their work, a karaoke parade and a dance party.

More details about programming will emerge in the weeks ahead. Pre-sale weekend passes are available for $35 here.

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Out now: Christian Scott completes his Centennial trilogy, plus more music from local artists

Posted By on Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 3:30 PM

Christian Scott.
  • Christian Scott.

New Orleans trumpeter and bandleader Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah completes his 2017 Centennial trilogy with The Emancipation Procrastination, out now on Ropeadope Records. The album follows March's Ruler Rebel and June's Diaspora, fulfilling his aural exam of 100 years of jazz, where it came from and where it's going while crafting "a sobering re-evaluation of the social and political realities of the world through sound" using his unique vision of jazz — "stretch music" — to dive into the Black experience.

He performs 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24 as part of NPR's Jazz Night in America at the New Orleans Jazz Market. Tickets $25-$75.

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In politics, if you're attacking, you best not miss

Posted By on Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 2:38 PM

Mayoral candiates LaToya Cantrell, left, and Desiree Charbonnet.
  • Mayoral candiates LaToya Cantrell, left, and Desiree Charbonnet.

When it comes to political attacks, the rule of thumb was succinctly stated by the character Omar Little in the TV drama The Wire: “You come at the king, you best not miss.”

In politics, an attack must be relevant, accurate and artfully delivered. A volley that misses the mark invites a devastating counterpunch. Similarly, those that are ham-fisted, tasteless, or just plain overkill cross an invisible line that voters inherently recognize — and they punish candidates who cross it.

In the New Orleans mayoral primary, I saw a lot of misses and a bit of overkill.

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