Thursday, April 19, 2018

Editorial: Vote YES on Gretna police and sewer millages

Posted By on Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 1:43 PM


Gretna Police and Sewer Millages: YES

Among the items on the April 28 ballot are two important millage propositions in the City of Gretna. One proposition would renew a 2.4-mill property tax for sewer system maintenance and improvements. If approved by voters, the tax would be levied for 10 years and generate approximately $356,000 per year. This renewal is not a tax increase; it would merely continue a property tax already on the books.

Also on the ballot is a new, 8-mill property tax dedicated to maintaining police manpower, which makes up more than 70 percent of the Gretna Police Department’s annual budget. If approved, the proposition would generate nearly $1.3 million a year for 10 years. Gretna in recent years has lost several dozen experienced officers to neighboring jurisdictions. It costs thousands of dollars to recruit and train each new officer; investing in the department’s current officers will keep experienced cops on the force and put more money into keeping citizens safe. We recommend our readers in Gretna vote YES on both these important propositions.

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Advocate report: The Simpsons return to New Orleans

Posted By on Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 11:58 AM


This Sunday's episode of The Simpsons will find the titular dysfunctional family traveling to New Orleans, according to a report by Judy Bergeron in The New Orleans Advocate:
"So the basic premise is that Lisa gets the yips, she can't play (the baritone saxophone). She's got this psychological block, and what better or worse place to not be able to play jazz than New Orleans? So she figures it out there," said Al Jean, "The Simpsons" executive producer, from Los Angeles.

The Simpson family ends up in the Crescent City when their flight to Gainesville, Florida, gets rerouted.

"They don't actually go to the Jazz Fest. They do just about everything else in New Orleans," Jean said. "It's a real love letter to the city."
Longtime Simpsons viewers will remember the 1992 episode "A Streetcar Named Marge," in which the Simpson matriarch was cast in a community theater production of a musical called Streetcar!, which featured a song that infuriated some locals (I found it hilarious):
Long before the Superdome!
Where the Saints of football play
Lived a city that the damned call home
Hear their hellish rondelay!

New Orleans!
Home of pirates, drunks and whores!
New Orleans!
Tacky, overpriced souvenir stores!
If you wanna go to hell, you should take that trip
To the Sodom and Gomorrah on the Mississip...
Read the whole Advocate story about Sunday's episode, which airs at 7 p.m. on WVUE-TV, here.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Louisiana Senate to consider bill that would fortify policies against sexual harassment at state agencies

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 6:10 PM

Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, responding to questions at a Senate hearing on her bill that would fortify sexual harassment policies across the state - PHOTO BY TRYFON BOUKOUVIDIS/LSU MANSHIP SCHOOL NEWS SERVICE
  • Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, responding to questions at a Senate hearing on her bill that would fortify sexual harassment policies across the state

Louisiana senators agreed Wednesday to cooperate on a comprehensive compromise bill that would fortify Louisiana’s policies against sexual harassment in state agencies.

The Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee sent the bill to the Senate floor to be considered next week after senators negotiate changes in the language.

The bill would provide uniformity in sexual harassment policy across the state. It would shield sexual harassment victims from employer retaliation and provide training to public servants.

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Medical marijuana in Louisiana could be ready by fall 2018

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 5:30 PM


Medical marijuana products could be available to Louisiana patients as early as September — 40 years after state lawmakers first approved marijuana for medical use.

Officials from Louisiana State University and Southern University — the stewards of the state crops to be processed into marijuana-based medicines — presented rough timelines and budgets to the joint House and Senate agriculture committee April 18, the same week the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy awarded competitive, potentially lucrative licenses to nine medical marijuana pharmacies that will cover the entire state.

These moves follow 2015 and 2016 legislation that tasked several statewide agencies with coming up with the rules for medical marijuana in Louisiana. Those laws followed a dead-end 1978 medical marijuana law that sat dormant on the books without any legal infrastructure to back it up.

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Barbara Bush, New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina: it's complicated

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 3:33 PM

Barbara Bush, in an official White House portrait in 1992. - WHITE HOUSE PHOTO OFFICE/COURTESY GEORGE BUSH PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY & MUSEUM
  • Barbara Bush, in an official White House portrait in 1992.

Barbara Bush, the former First Lady who died yesterday at 92, will be remembered for many things: her literacy campaign; her support of people with HIV and AIDS; and her fierce loyalty to her family. Encomiums to Bush have poured in from Democrats and Republicans alike, from President Donald Trump (who said scathing things about her during her lifetime) to Gov. John Bel Edwards, who said in a statement, “She was an incredible first lady who served alongside her husband with class, grace and dignity."

New Orleanians who lived through Hurricane Katrina and the federal floods, however, also remember her much-quoted statement that she made to NPR's Marketplace after touring the Houston Astrodome and meeting with Katrina refugees:
"What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is that they all want to stay in Texas. Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway so this ... this is working very well for them."
Bush's statement was hardly the least sensitive delivered in those frightening, confusing days. Far worse was that of then-U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colorado, who said, ""Given the abysmal failure of state and local officials in Louisiana to plan adequately for or respond to the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the city of New Orleans, and given the long history of public corruption in Louisiana, I hope the House will refrain from directly appropriating any funds ... to either the state of Louisiana or the city of New Orleans."

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Lewis Black to play Joy Theater Sept. 15

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 2:02 PM

  • Lewis Black.

The eternally — and justifiably — cranky comedian Lewis Black returns to New Orleans for a show at the Joy Theater Sept. 15 on his "The Joke's On Us" tour. Black, who gained fame for his segments on The Late Show With Jon Stewart, last appeared locally at the Mahalia Jackson Theater in 2014.

In a 2012 interview with Gambit, Black said, "I work from whatever makes me angry. A lot of what I see is political now. That's what makes me the maddest. I look and I can't believe these people are this age and still pulling this shit. It's like they never grew up."

Tickets go on sale April 20, and range from $35-$65. Members of his fan club, Frustrated Union of Cynical Kindreds Universal (you do the acronym) have access to early sales.
Location Details Joy Theater
Joy Theater
1200 Canal St.
French Quarter
New Orleans, LA
(504) 528-9569
Theater and Movie Theaters

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Sex Madness Revealed and The Overlook Film Festival

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 10:21 AM

Revenge screens in The Overlook Film Festival.
  • Revenge screens in The Overlook Film Festival.

The Overlook Film Festival makes its first visit to New Orleans this week (April 19-22).  There are horror film screenings at Cinebarre 9 at Canal Place and Le Petit Theatre and virtual reality and immersive experiences elsewhere.

The horror film festival is named for the resort hotel in Stephen King's The Shining, and previous festivals have been held in Colorado at the hotel that King used as inspiration for the novel, and in Oregon, where Stanley Kubrick shot outdoor scenes for his film.

Overlook's films cover a wide array of horror schemes, from psychological thrillers to monsters and gore. There also are a few comedic takes on horror films, such as Blood Fest. Highlights include Hereditary and St. Agatha. There's more about the festival here and a full schedule at its website.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Louisiana Senate committee advances 15-week abortion ban

Posted By on Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 7:16 PM

At a 2017 rally, a Planned Parenthood supporter steps in front of an anti-abortion demonstrator. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • At a 2017 rally, a Planned Parenthood supporter steps in front of an anti-abortion demonstrator.

After a lengthy discussion that came to a head over the legislation's potential unintended consequences, the Louisiana Senate's Judiciary C Committee voted to advance a bill that would ban abortions in the state after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

Senate Bill 181 by state Sen. John Milkovich (D-Shreveport), an outspoken opponent of abortion rights, mirrors a recently passed Mississippi law that bans abortions 15 weeks after conception. Before the committee, Milkovich argued that the law would justify a certain legal battle over its constitutionality.

"I cannot think of a better expenditure of money that Louisiana could make ... than to protect the life of the unborn," he said.

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Louisiana Department of Health offers free STD, HIV screenings April 25

Posted By on Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 4:58 PM


Louisiana Department of Health will offer free STD and HIV screenings at its Orleans Parish Health Unit (517 N. Rampart St.) April 25.

The event, which is scheduled to coincide with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's STD Awareness Month, includes free testing at clinics across the state. Clinics will test for gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis as well as HIV.

Among states, Louisiana has been ranked second-highest in terms of gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia and HIV rates by separate studies. There were more than 300 new cases of HIV diagnosed in Orleans and Jefferson parishes in 2015.

Low-cost STD and HIV testing is also available anytime at CrescentCare's Sexual Health Center (3308 Tulane Ave.) and some St. Thomas Community Health Center locations.

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Dreamgirls, South Pacific and Santaland Diaries highlight 2018-2019 JPAS season

Posted By on Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 4:17 PM

Anais St. John will star in a musical show about Lulu White Aug. 18-26 at Teatro Wego!
  • Anais St. John will star in a musical show about Lulu White Aug. 18-26 at Teatro Wego!

The Jefferson Performing Arts Society (JPAS) announced its 41st season today. Shows include Dreamgirls and South Pacific. The full list of events at Jefferson Performing Arts Center (JPAC), Westwego Performing Arts Theatre and Teatro Wego! is below.

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