Archive for August, 2011

Hurricane Katrina, Or, Enough Already, Lady

Six years after the fact, you’d think that most of us in New Orleans would be tired of talking about Hurricane Katrina.

We are.

That’s not to say that everything’s as it was. That’s not to say that everyone has come home. And that’s certainly not to say that people, communities, and the city we call home haven’t been deeply, deeply scarred by a particularly forceful force of nature.

And yet, we don’t want to talk about it. I certainly don’t. None of my friends talk about it. My family doesn’t. In fact, the only time it comes up in conversation is when I’m out of town, and someone finds out that I’m from New Orleans — as happened while I was paying a visit to my birth mother, Callie, this past weekend.

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Hurricane Irene: Be Prepared (And Please Don’t Blame The Gays)

Since New Orleans isn’t directly in the path of Hurricane Irene, I haven’t heard as much discussion about the storm and all that she threatens to disrupt as I normally would. But of course, Irene is likely to cause a lot of damage, and at the very least, she’ll put a serious damper on people’s weekend plans along the East Coast.

One of the biggest disruptions is undoubtedly the official dedication of the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, which is scheduled to begin on Sunday at 11am — almost exactly the time at which Irene will be giving D.C. her most powerful stink-eye. It looks as if the storm will be downgraded to a category 2 by then, but that’s more than enough to flood roadways, knock out power, and force cancellation of all outdoor events.

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WTF, Spongebob? Jazzland/Six Flags Needs Another Buyer

Two years ago — nearly two years ago to the day — a certain cueball-headed mayor of New Orleans announced that Jazzland/Six Flags was coming back. The theme park where so many of my friends had worked before the storm, performing to crowds of dozens (on a good day), has done nothing but gather mold since Hurricane Katrina swamped it. Which wasn’t hard to do, since the whole thing was built on a swamp anyway.

But I digress.

On August 19, 2009, Nagin stood for a photo op with Spongebob Squarepants and announced that Nickelodeon would be redeveloping Six Flags. But like a good souffle, the deal didn’t keep, and now the city is looking for a new partner to rescue the property.  If you’re the sort of person with a dream in your pocket and several million dollars in a Swiss bank account, you have until October 10 to submit your proposal.

My personal take? There are certain parts of New Orleans that are perfectly fine for habitation and others that should return to their natural state. There were some contentious discussions about which neighborhoods fit into those two categories after the storm, but I don’t think anyone would complain if Mitch Landrieu ripped Jazzland off the map and signed the deed over to Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge.

Sex Crimes And Other Offenses That Become Louisiana Law Today

At the moment, Louisiana is run by Republicans: we have a Republican governor (a terrible one, IMHO) and the party holds a majority in both the House and the Senate. As elsewhere, many of these GOP legislators are first-timers, and they’re pissing off the elders with their arrogance, their Tea Party-naivete, and their frequent ineptitude*.

And yet, there were some good things to come out of the 2011 legislative session that wrapped up in June. I’ll start with the bad, though:

  • As of today, there are more obstacles standing between women and safe, legal abortion: “Abortion clinics must give more information to women before they can terminate a pregnancy, including new signs telling pregnant women that they cannot be coerced into abortion, that fathers are liable for child support and that adoptive parents may pay for prenatal care and birth expenses.” [AP]
  • New Louisiana residents used to be required to wait six months before receiving a concealed handgun permit. Not anymore.
  • And of course, Representative Austin Badon’s anti-bullying bill was defeated on the House floorwhich tickled the backward-looking Louisiana Family Forum pink (a very butch pink, I assume).

And on the plus-side:

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Suddenly, Storm Season

Four storms in the Atlantic? When did this happen? Ack.

 

Also: for those keeping track at home, we’re just four weeks away from the peak of the North Atlantic hurricane season, which is generally considered to be September 10. Fingers crossed, bags packed….

 

 

 

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