Archive for March, 2006

Thanks, but no thanks

INNISFAIL, Australia (AP) — Troops began moving aid to the cyclone-shattered town of Innisfail on Tuesday as residents picked through waterlogged streets littered with rubble and mangled roofs destroyed by Australia’s most powerful cyclone in decades….

U.S. President George W. Bush called Australian Prime Minister John Howard early Tuesday to offer American help if needed.

“Of course we are able ourselves to look after this,” Howard said. “But it was a very generous, thoughtful gesture on his part and I thank him for it.”

CNN

Jump For New Orleans

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The Preservation Resource Center is holding their annual Julia Jump benefit this year on March 31, 2006 at the new Howlin Wolf which is in the Old Praline Connection at 907 South Peters.
Order Tickets Online

If you order Patron Party tickets (6:30 pm) you can see the Zion Harmonizers, there will be food from the Gumbo Shop for The Jump itself, which starts at 8:00 pm and there’s an open bar and a silent auction. The PRC has been doing everything they can to assist homeowners with their rebuilding efforts by offering workshops as well as the many free construction projects they will be doing througout the year. It’s a fun event for an organization dedicated to helping homeowners come home. Preservation Resource Center

Make Your Voice Heard, New Orleans!

All Orleans Parish residents,

Tomorrow, March 22nd, is the registration deadline to vote in the upcoming primaries on April 22nd. Go, go, citizen participation, this is your government, this is your contract! Let’s stop (or, at least, slow down) the standing jokes / goat rodeos that constitute our local elections.

Voter Registration Information
Displaced Voter Information

What Ward And Precinct Do I Live/Vote In?

Orleans Parish Candidate Data
(worth printing out, marking on and taking to voting place)

nola.com Comprehensive Election Guide

Can someone, who lives in Jefferson, St. Tammany, and other nearby parishes with upcoming elections, construct an information page like this, please?

Shane Landry Candidate for City Council District B

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Shane Landry is 33yrs old, a Cajun and an attorney and he’s running against Renee Gill Pratt and genuinely respects his fellow candidate, Quentin B. Shane is married and has one child. He has a sophisticated grasp of how government works and especially our unique opportunity here in New Orleans, right now. “We cannot look at our politics in New Orleans as a spectator sport, it’s our fault if this city fails right now.” Shane wants to see an end to the system of corporate welfare, secrecy and cultural peonage and would work hard to build an economy built on universal prosperity. “The people on the city council right now are not leaders.” He said he can’t sit by and watch our city government squander another opportunity. He’ll work to get more money from our oil production, “. . . it’s colonialism, we support the rest of the country with our resources and get nothing in return.” You can read more about Shane’s platform on his website: http://www.shanelandry.com/home.asp
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Editor B’s Latest Movie

This you should really take a look at. Editor B. has completed the video he made of his initial return to the city. It’s outstanding. b.rox 93 It’s good because it’s funny and it’s also good to take a look back, and it’s a little painful in a necessary way, which if you have been through this thing with us, you’ll see what I mean. Xy, Editor B’s wife, about steals the show and you even get to see the heroes rescue a cute animal. The soundtrack is great, I watched it twice, could see it again, easily . . .

Clarifying..

Let me clarify my previous entry. Please don’t think I’m blaming out-of-towners for all this rudeness. That’s not the case at all. Of the four examples I gave, two were by visitors and two were ( I assume) locals. It’s very much an all-hands deal.

Thank you. Now put away the knife.

Simmuh down, y’all…

I don’t know if it’s continued post-K weirdness or that we’re missing Carnival or maybe it’s just that some hard realities have finally settled in on some folks. But despite all the patience so many have shown since The Thing happened, it’s clear some folks simply don’t know how to act. Or react, as the case may be.

Example 1: I’m in front of MY house on Friday when a neighbor drives by. She stops and rolls down her window and asks if I can meet her in front of her house around the corner. I say sure — and this entire conversation takes about six seconds before she turns the corner. That’s apparently enough time for Bubba T. Redneck in the car behind her to become enraged and yell out his window at me for being a “fucking asshole.” Huh?

Example 2: Later that same day, the same neighbor calls and advises me she is about to re-enter the neighborhood. Keep in mind I live across the street from Parasol’s, and their annual block party is going on. This event, while fun, also gridlocks the entire area for blocks around like Bienville at Royal during French Quarter Fest. So I have used my cones to save this neighbor a place to park in front her HER house (what are neighbors for, right?). I walk over to her place to wait for her and to move these cones when Bubba T. Contractor (with a Florida plate, no less) pulls up and DEMANDS I allow him to park there “just for a few minutes.” No, I advise, I am waiting on a neighbor who lives there. At this point, he becomes livid to the point I thought he was going to leap from his truck and throttle me with a heavy-duty, UL-approved extension cord. Fortunately, neighbor arrives (while I’m again being called a “fucking asshole”) and pulls into her space while contractor dude blows six gaskets and two boiler plates as he pulls around the corner.

Example 3: TBK and I are at the Lucinda Williams show last night at House of Blues. It’s a sold-out show and the place is crowded, okay? I weave my way to the bar to get a couple drinks and, sure enough, here’s some Bubba T. Outtastate (sounded like Georgia) trying loudly to get the barmaid’s attention by complaining he was “here before the other guys” who just got served. Then when the guy finally DOES get his Bud Light (this is all they drink, believe me) he goes off on this obnoxious, sarcastic litany of overblown thanks-yous (“Oh, thank YEW so MUCH fer payin’ uh-TEN-shun to me, sweet thang. Ah jest LUUUUUUUUUUUV yer faist service, etc etc.”). I hope this barmaid shook his next beer up real good so it Vesuviused all over this sawed-off little creep. I tipped her an extra dollar just for putting up with jerks like this.

Example 4: I’m headed down Louisiana today and I’m about at the (working) stoplight at Baronne. I’ve got a green light, but some dude in a Mini-Cooper turns left in front of me. I nearly hit the guy, but he’s honking and shooting ME the finger. Again — huh?

Maybe it’s just that we’ve gotten to the point that all of us pre-K locals and all of the contractors and all of the new residents have become One Big Family Reunion. You can get us together for a while and everyone goes out of their way to be nice. But, if it goes on too long, the nit-picking starts and arguments erupt and finally you’ve got a huge family blow-up on your hands, with relatives yelling and gesturing and finally refusing to speak to each other for years and years because of some imagined slight or insult. I dunno.

Whatever it is, I want our civility back. It’s eroding.

Dispatch from Mid-City

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Two big things happened in the past couple of days. First off, Sav-A-Center on Carrollton & Conti is now open and it is GREAT! They spent millions on flood remediation and more millions on upgrading the place to have “fresh market” status, which is basically Sav-A-Center’s way of competing with Whole Foods and other upscale grocers. So it has a juice bar, a gourmet cheese bar, a walk-in beer cooler (can’t wait to loiter in there once summer rolls around!!!), some lady who gives out wine samples, a nice bakery with a self-serve bread slicing machine, better produce, etc. It’s nice. It’s exciting. That place used to be kind of a dump, and now it’s nicer than the one on Tchoupitoulas. I’m psyched.

On my way there I noted the traffic light at Canal & Carrollton is now working, which is nice. It’s nice to have a traffic light where twelve lanes of traffic intersect, you know?

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The other advancement is the re-opening of Finn McCool’s Irish Pub, which happened today, St. Patrick’s Day. Finn’s is a stone’s throw from my front porch, so I’m very happy about that. The place is nice, seems bigger and brighter, and they have more beers on tap. Even more exciting is the addition of a kitchen that will be serving pub grub- fish & chips especially.

In short, I can’t wait to move back to the neighborhood.

Who Is Quentin Brown ?

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You have seen his signs around uptown. “Quentin B, I Care”. Quentin Brown is running for Councilmember for District B against incumbent Renee Gill Pratt. He’s the only candidate wielding the Sharpie as his main campaign tool. I found his phone number from the candidates registration information online and called him up. He was out in Metairie at the time, looking for an apartment for his wife, she’s not too happy in the FEMA trailer. He was frustrated, as we all are. When we met at CC’s uptown on Thursday, I asked how his campaign was going. He said he felt good about it and he presented me with a flyer he’ll be posting come April. He promises to work for the people. Out canvassing one day, a man told Quentin that he was put off by the use of the slogan, No More B-S. Quentin told him, “Well, sir, then I will save you some time because obviously, you ain’t sick enough of it yet”. Quentin is the only Independent on the ticket and thinks by default he may earn some of the anti-democrat votes that way.
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This voting thing….

Normally, when it comes to voting and most other civic obligations, they sort of get funneled into the “don’t gives a damn” box in my brain. But for some reason this whole thing that the NAACP “would challenge the results in court if they do not meet levels of participation the group deems proper” really bothers me. I don’t know why I care, but I do know why it bothers me.

The reason the NAACP is even involved is due to a fear of an under-represented African American community in the up-coming elections due to so many people being evacuated. And while I like the idea that Groups like the NAACP keep an eye on things like this, I don’t like the idea of them making not-so-veiled threats. And, really, do they have legal grounds to challenge election results given the situation? Maybe, I don’t really know. What I do know is that by the time the elections happen, evacuees will have been evacuated for 8 and 9 months. That’s a hell of a long time. I mean, do evacuees really have a “right” to vote in the upcoming elections in New Orleans if they’ve been living in another part of the country for 8 months.
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