Monday, March 19, 2018

LISTEN: Rebecca Solnit on sexual assault, Parkland and internet culture

Posted By on Mon, Mar 19, 2018 at 2:02 PM


Essayist, cultural critic and activist Rebecca Solnit, who is known for the prodigious breadth of her interests and her feminist critiques of contemporary culture, is scheduled to give a lecture at Tulane University's McAlister Auditorium beginning at 7 p.m. March 19. Ahead of that appearance, she gave a nearly hour-long interview to WRBH-FM's David Benedetto for the radio station's "The Writer's Forum" program.

The interview, which spans a range of topics almost as vast as Solnit's own body of work, aired over the weekend, but you can catch it on the station's Soundcloud. There, the writer and host cover Solnit's writing history; her thoughts on the mass shooting at Parkland, Florida; the future of American activism and progressivism; what it was like to work on Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas; viral media; the language surrounding sexual harassment and assault and more.

The full interview is embedded below.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

In Jefferson, a peaceful changing of the guard — but war is imminent

Posted By on Wed, Jul 26, 2017 at 6:44 PM

Former state Rep. Joe Lopinto (left) will become interim sheriff of Jefferson Parish after the resignation of Sheriff Newell Normand.
  • Former state Rep. Joe Lopinto (left) will become interim sheriff of Jefferson Parish after the resignation of Sheriff Newell Normand.

Things are rarely dull in Jefferson Parish politics. I still recall the factional wars of the 1980s and early ’90s between then-DA John Mamoulides and then-Assessor Lawrence Chehardy. No election was insignificant.

Some see the resignation of Sheriff Newell Normand and the rise of interim Sheriff Joe Lopinto as triggering another era of political warfare in Jefferson. Truth be told, war has been coming to Jefferson for some time. The factional leaders are Normand and Parish President Mike Yenni. Everyone else has to choose sides. Normand’s decision to turn in his badge for a talk-radio mic at WWL-AM is merely the latest run-up to open hostilities.

As sheriff, Normand often took sides at election time, but between elections he stayed in his lane. Now, as a radio talk show host, he can talk about any issue that concerns him. He will be a very interesting talk show host, to say the least.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Normand steps down as Jefferson Parish sheriff; will join WWL-AM as radio host

Posted By on Tue, Jul 25, 2017 at 3:03 PM

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand.
  • Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand announced today he'll be stepping down as sheriff Aug. 31 and soon after will start a new career: as midday talk show host on WWL-AM, taking the slot held by Garland Robinette, who retired earlier this month.

In a statement provided by Entercom, the company that owns WWL-AM, Normand said, "I always listened to Garland and admired his voice in our community. He played a pivotal role in New Orleans' recovery & rebirth from Katrina. Plus, good leaders know when it's time to move on. I'm satisfied that Jefferson Parish is in great shape. The crime rate hasn't been this low since 1974. And strong leadership is ready to step in and take over a great team — one I care about deeply and will miss dearly,"

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Remembering Bill O'Reilly and his Hurricane Katrina remarks

Posted By on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 2:00 PM

  • Bill O'Reilly.
In the long list of inane — not to mention assholic — remarks made by political pundits following Hurricane Katrina and the federal floods, those of now-former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly surely make the Top 10:
Many, many, many of the poor in New Orleans are in that condition [dependency]. They weren't going to leave no matter what you did. They were drug-addicted. They weren't going to get turned off from their source. They were thugs, whatever. ... It's the absence of personal responsibility, which the government can not force you to be responsible, not in a free society.

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

WWNO-FM launches all-classical station on 104.9 FM

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 3:06 PM

James Arey (left) and Jack Hopke will host Classical New Orleans, a four-hour weekday music program, on the newly launched Classical 104.9 FM. - KENNETH LASS
  • James Arey (left) and Jack Hopke will host Classical New Orleans, a four-hour weekday music program, on the newly launched Classical 104.9 FM.

Classical music is back on the FM airwaves in New Orleans. In November, WWNO-FM, the city's National Public Radio affiliate, announced it was fundraising and seeking an FCC license for a 24-hour commercial-free classical station at 104.9 FM on the dial, and today WWNO announced Classical 104.9 FM is up and running.

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

WWNO-FM raising money to launch new FM classical station in New Orleans

Posted By on Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 3:37 PM


, New Orleans' public radio station, is raising money from supporters for a planned 24-hour, over-the-air classical music station that would air on 104.9 FM. starting in January 2017.

WWNO, which originally was founded as a classical station in the 1970s, switched from a classical format to traditional National Public Radio in 2012. At the time, it sent its classical format to a digital subchannel, WWNO-2, which is picked up by special HD radio sets and can be streamed over the internet, but is not available in many cars.

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Welcome to Night Vale returns to New Orleans in July 2016

Posted By on Tue, Mar 15, 2016 at 1:30 PM

Cecil Baldwin narrates the podcast Welcome to Night Vale. - LIEZL ESTIPONA
  • Cecil Baldwin narrates the podcast Welcome to Night Vale.

Broadcasting from a fictional desert town as a sort of Lake Wobegon-meets-Twin Peaks community radio show, the popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale returns to New Orleans for another installment of its live stage rendering this summer. The show returns to the Civic Theater on July 8 with a new script, "Ghost Stories," the fifth live script since the show's live performances began in 2013.

Night Vale creators Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor talked to Gambit in 2014 before the show's first New Orleans appearance about its conception (as a show and a place "where every conspiracy theory is true and we just move on with our lives") and its transformation into theater.

Tickets are $23-$28 and go on sale at noon Friday, March 18.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Along St. Claude, an exhibit at The Front, opens this weekend with a rebroadcast of the documentary that inspired it

Posted By on Wed, Jun 10, 2015 at 1:48 PM

Dan Eaglin, a subject of Eve Abrams' Along Saint Claude audio documentary. - JONATHAN TRAVIESA
  • Dan Eaglin, a subject of Eve Abrams' Along Saint Claude audio documentary.

It's been a little over a year since local NPR station WWNO 89.9 aired independent radio producer Eve Abrams' seven-part radio documentary Along St. Claude. Tonight, in anticipation of an interactive opening at The Front Gallery this weekend that features 33 portraits of people interviewed for the project, the documentary will air again, from 7 to 8 p.m.

The gallery opening is Saturday, June 13 at 5:30 p.m. and will feature portraits by Jonathan Traviesa. In addition to the photos, there will be a map and other artifacts to commemorate the project, all aimed at bringing together different voices and opinions to talk about real, significant changes in the areas surrounding St. Claude Avenue between Poland and St. Bernard Avenues. 

Continue reading »

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Listen: Uptown Messenger on NOPD task forces being diminished, consolidated

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 5:36 PM


This week in Gambit, Robert Morris of Uptown Messenger reported on how specialized New Orleans Police Department task forces designed to prevent crime before it occurs had been eroded by reassigning officers.

Today he spoke with WWNO-FM's Eve Troeh about the story and its implications. You can listen to the report here.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

With Mobile Booth, StoryCorps hopes to branch beyond NPR listener base

Posted By on Mon, Mar 16, 2015 at 5:11 PM

Shane Mutter, President of Doerr Furniture, addresses a small gathering in front of the Story Corps Mobile Booth at a press event March 16. Doerr is hosting the booth until April 8.
  • Shane Mutter, President of Doerr Furniture, addresses a small gathering in front of the Story Corps Mobile Booth at a press event March 16. Doerr is hosting the booth until April 8.

When the trumpet player Aurelien Barnes went into the StoryCorps airstream trailer parked outside of Doerr Furniture (914 Elysian Fields Ave.) this morning, he told stories with his mentor, the horn player Oscar Washington, about what it meant to come up in New Orleans playing music. The two men asked each other questions, told stories and left the booth with a CD recording of their conversation. But, Barnes says, he didn't tell the stories for himself. "It's more for other people than for me," says Barnes. "Because I know my own stories. I don't really need to hear them. So I like the fact that they're out there for other people to listen to, because other people can learn something from it or find it interesting." 

The StoryCorps Mobile Booth, which tours the country collecting interviews conducted between two people who know and care about each other, returned to New Orleans March 12 and will be recording until April 8. The Mobile Booth was last in New Orleans in 2010, and this time around story facilitators hope to hear from a diverse and ever-changing population of the city. 

"New Orleans is a gloriously culturally diverse city, and so much of what StoryCorps wants to do when it enters community is to record those voices," Dina Zempsky, director of the Mobile Tour tells Gambit. "To really, very genuinely be able to capture, preserve, archive and hopefully broadcast the stories and voices of that community."

Zempsky says the Mobile Booth is specifically targeting the Latino community that's come to New Orleans post-Katrina. "We have done a lot of outreach to that community and hopefully we capture some of those stories," she says. 

StoryCorps reserves about 20 percent of its interviews at every tour stop for the voices of people who are not necessarily public radio listeners. "Because otherwise," says Zempsky, "our stories would sound pretty similar. Of course we love our NPR listening community, and we know they're going to make interviews because they'll hear the promotions on NPR. But we work very very hard to bring in stories of the local community."

Part of making that diversity a reality has been reaching out to local NPR affiliate WWNO-89.9, who helped the non-profit reach out to community organizations like the Neighborhood Story Project, based out of the University of New Orleans. WWNO will also produce a handful of stories collected at the booth to air on local radio. 

The recording booth is cozy and intimate and faces the two storytellers across from one another. Zempsky calls the space "sacred," and says it's capable of producing some real magic for participants once they're inside. "It's very quiet, it's very measured," she says. "Most of us don't spend just 40 minutes talking to someone we care about anymore, and all sorts of magical things come out of that space."

StoryCorps airs every Friday on NPR during Morning Edition.

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