Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Hugh Masekela cancels concert dates

Posted By on Tue, Apr 25, 2017 at 2:01 PM

Hugh Masekela has canceled tour dates due to illness. - BRETT RUBIN
  • Hugh Masekela has canceled tour dates due to illness.

A Hugh Masekela appearance at an Atlanta jazz festival has been canceled due to illness.

Masekela was scheduled to perform twice at the the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. His name no longer is listed on Jazz Fest's cubes, and a set featuring the Jazz Epistles now lists Terence Blanchard instead of Masekela. Jazz Fest has not confirmed whether Masekela will perform or not.

Masekela spoke to Gambit a few weeks ago about about his music.

Update: Jazz Fest confirmed Masekela will not perform at the festival.

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Big Easy Award winners announced

Posted By on Tue, Apr 25, 2017 at 1:49 PM

Deacon John Moore received a Big Easy Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Deacon John Moore received a Big Easy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Deacon John Moore thanked a long list of New Orleans musicians and producers — including Allen Toussaint, Dave Bartholomew, Wardell Quezergue, Earl Palmer, Ellis Marsalis, Luther Kent (with whom he shares a birthday), Germaine Bazzle — plus institutions (the musicians union, ), supporters, friends and others while accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award, and he later sang an emotional version of "The Way We Were" at the Big Easy Awards at Orpheum Theatre Monday night. While introducing Moore, Irma Thomas teased Moore that he looked the same but with a little less hair after six decades in music.

The Big Easy gala also included theater awards, and Anthony Bean, founder of Anthony Bean Community Theater, accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award. "We've come a long way," Bean said, describing the gains for black actors and dramas since 1972, when he began his career. Bean plans to reopen his theater at its new campus in Gentilly this year.

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Mental health resource fair is at Delgado May 1

Posted By on Tue, Apr 25, 2017 at 11:49 AM


Delgado Community College hosts a resource fair and panel discussion May 1 to raise awareness of mental health-related issues and services in the city.

The fair begins at 11 a.m. at the University's Student Life Center. At noon, there's a discussion and accompanying luncheon called "Moving Mental Health Services into a Collaborative System of Care.” The panel includes comments from National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) board president Chuck Credo, Early Psychosis Intervention Clinic educator Ashley Weiss, Keith Grant of Louisiana Healthcare Connections and District B Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell. (Participants must register to attend the discussion; email sborne@dcc.edu for details.)

The events coincide with the beginning of May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month. This campaign attempts to highlight and reduce stigma associated with mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic distress disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders and others. Recent National Institute of Metal Health Data indicates as many as 9.8 million adults, or more than the entire population of New York City, are living with serious mental illness, and high rates of mental illness (often coupled with low access to care) are common throughout the Gulf South.

It's free to attend both events, which also include massages from the school's massage therapy program. Call (504) 671-6004 for more information. 
Location Details Delgado Community College
City Park campus, Student Life Center, Lac Maurepas room
New Orleans, LA

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Brewsday Tuesday: Port Orleans to open May 9

Posted By on Tue, Apr 25, 2017 at 9:00 AM

  • Nora McGunnigle

Port Orleans Brewing Company (4124 Tchoupitoulas St.) has filled all of the brewery’s fermentors, and the taproom’s soft opening begins May 9. The taproom kitchen also opens May 9 and features a beer-focused menu created by chef Phillip Mariano (formerly of Domenica) and Jeremy Wolgamott (formerly of High Hat Cafe). A grand opening event will be later in May.

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Y@ Speak: CATs, dogs, alligators

Posted By on Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 5:38 PM

Alligators in the parks and in the streets, marches in defense of science in an increasingly facts-absent world, 3-year-old bus drivers — pretty normal week.

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Bills exempting feminine hygiene products and diapers from state sales tax move to full Senate

Posted By on Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 3:48 PM

State Sen. JP Morrell.
  • State Sen. JP Morrell.

The Senate Committee on Revenue and Fiscal Affairs on Monday sent to the full Senate two bills Senate Bill 24 and Senate Bill 27, both proposed by state Sen. JP Morrell, D-New Orleans, which would exempt diapers and feminine hygiene products from state sales tax. The first would seek the exemption by statute and the second by constitutional amendment.

Under the current state law, diapers and feminine hygiene products are subject to the current 5 percent sales tax rate until June 30, 2018, and a 4 percent tax rate thereafter. The state already has exemptions for food for home consumption, residential utilities and prescription drugs.

Morrell said he feels it is “immoral” to tax items that not only affect some of the state’s low- income populations, but also that are not optional, adding, “This is really an issue that’s bothered me for quite some time.”

SB27 would put the measure to a vote of the people, which requires a two-thirds majority approval.

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Lawmakers to introduce bills to abolish death penalty in the state

Posted By on Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 1:54 PM


A proposal to abolish the death penalty in Louisiana could help prevent a crisis the state’s public defenders say they are hurtling toward, unless drastic changes are made in how the state handles defense for the indigent.

But because the bill does not apply to those already convicted or indicted of capital offenses, the savings in money earmarked for such cases will come slowly. And the state’s district attorneys are taking a hardline stance against the idea, arguing to local lawmakers the move would take away a vital tool in obtaining plea bargains — hanging the possibility of the death penalty over defendants’ heads.

Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, state Rep. Terry Landry, D-New Iberia, and state Rep. Steve Pylant, R-Winnsboro, are authoring or co-authoring legislation that would end the death penalty. Claitor’s bill will get its first hearing on Tuesday.

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What people are saying about the overnight Confederate-era monument removal in New Orleans

Posted By on Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 11:28 AM

Let's get the stupidest out of the way first, wth a comment by a fellow who is running for governor in Virginia ...


At First Draft, New Orleans blogger Adrastos has a more nuanced take:
I wish that the city had NOT done so under cover of darkness but the Mayor has said that there were death threats against the work crew. Unfortunately, I believe him. BUT since other security measures were taken, I still think it should have been done during the day. I, for one, am proud of this action, which is why I don’t think we should be sneaking around. It gives the appearance of wrongdoing when they’re doing the right thing. Celebrating hatred and racism is unacceptable.

I also wish Mayor Landrieu would stop calling them Confederate monuments. The one that was removed this morning, the so-called Liberty monument, honors the triumph of white supremacy during Reconstruction. The remaining three statues honor Confederate dignitaries-only one local-and were erected in celebration of white supremacy, which is why I use that term.

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New Orleans removes first of four Confederate-era monuments, announces funding to take down the rest

Posted By on Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 9:03 AM

The Battle of Liberty Place statue at Canal Place was removed in the early morning hours April 24.
  • The Battle of Liberty Place statue at Canal Place was removed in the early morning hours April 24.
A few hours after construction crews began removing a statue intended to recognize "white supremacy in the South," Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced that the city should "truly remember all of our history, not part of it." The Battle of Liberty Place obelisk — one of four statues targeted for removal by the city, and what Landrieu called the "most offensive" of the four — was the first to come down.

The statues — which Landrieu said were "first erected as an affront to America, intended to deny the humanity of millions of Americans" — will be moved to a city-held warehouse before they move to a museum or similar building. Other statues to be removed include Robert E. Lee at Lee Circle, P.G.T. Beauregard at the entrance to City Park, and Jefferson Davis on Jefferson Davis Parkway in Mid-City.

Debate over their removal has swirled over the last several decades, but it came into sharp focus when Landrieu announced their removal in 2015. Debates continued at City Hall and elsewhere as officials mulled a "nuisance" ordinance under which the monuments could be removed, arguing their construction "suggests the supremacy of one ethnic, religious, or racial group over any other, or gives honor or praise to any violent actions taken wrongfully against citizens of the city to promote ethnic, religious, or racial supremacy of any group over another."

“The removal of these statues sends a clear and unequivocal message to the people of New Orleans and the nation: New Orleans celebrates our diversity, inclusion and tolerance,” Landrieu said in a statement early this morning. “Relocating these Confederate monuments is not about taking something away from someone else. This is not about politics, blame or retaliation. This is not a naïve quest to solve all our problems at once. This is about showing the whole world that we as a city and as a people are able to acknowledge, understand, reconcile — and most importantly — choose a better future. We can remember these divisive chapters in our history in a museum or other facility where they can be put in context — and that’s where these statues belong.”

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