Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Dubai on the bayou

Half of me thinks this is crazy. Another half of me thinks it’s nice that someone’s envisioned New Orleans’ architectural landscape in a wacko, high-on-life, rich-from-petroleum, bring-on-the-Bangladeshi-slave-girls kind of way. And a third, nonexistent half of me thinks that the residents of One River Place are probably already pissed that someone bothered to imagine this Tron-style tenement (click through for video):


Rebuilding New Orleans is an ongoing effort and pitching into the concept-zone is the New Orleans Arcology Habitat or NOAH. Since the details on this structure are in-depth and plenty, lets plunge into them right away. NOAH proposes to be a habitat for 40,000 residents who can benefit from the planned residential units, school system, commercial, retail, hotels, casinos, parking, and public works facilities.

NOAH is based upon the following preliminary program outline.

1. Residential Units / Rental and Condominium; 20,000 units @ average 1100 Sq ft
2. Three Hotels; Average 200 rooms plus associated services
3. Time Share Units; 1500 units @ average 1100 sq ft
4. Three Casino Facilities
5. Commercial Space / Rental and Condominiums; 500,000 sq ft
6. Commercial Space / Retail; 500,000 sq ft
7. Parking Garage / within foundation; 8,000 cars
8. Cultural Facilities; 100,000 sq ft
9. Public Works; 50,000 sq ft / includes storage
10. District School System; 100,000 sq ft
11. District Administrative Office; 50,000 sq ft
12. District Health Care Facility; 20,000 sq ft

Estimated Total Square Footage : 30 million

Location/Site Specific: In reviewing all the options and possible sites for NOAH, the most logical location is on the Mississippi riverfront and adjacent to the Central Business District.

Oh: and it goes on.

Good news for New Orleanians (maybe)

Apparently, New Orleans City Business covered this Cold Storage story last week, although they’ve just posted an update on their WordPress (freebie WordPress!?!) blog. Keeping up with the Joneses, the Picayune has now pubbed an article of its own:

Facing mounting opposition to the construction of a poultry exporting operation at the foot of the French Market, the Port of New Orleans is looking for a new home for New Orleans Cold Storage.Port administrators are asking tenants along the Mississippi River if they could make room on their property for the company, which the port fears will leave New Orleans without a new headquarters. New Orleans Cold Storage is the port’s second-largest customer.

“They’ve made it very clear that they’re going to continue to oppose this, and we’re going to see what the other alternatives are,” port spokesman Chris Bonura said of residents in the French Quarter, Marigny and Bywater. Signs emblazoned with the message ‘Poison Port’ can be seen posted throughout the neighborhoods.

There are no guarantees that the port will find another home for New Orleans Cold Storage, Bonura said, and the company may very well end up on the Gov. Nicholls Street and Esplanade Avenue wharves as planned.

But the fact that the port is even considering a new home for the company represents an aboutface for the agency, which just a few months ago said that the wharves near the French Quarter were the only option for New Orleans Cold Storage.

But really, who cares who ran the story first? We’re close, y’all! Not out of the woods, but, you know, cross those fingers.

All the Mayor’s Men

Who can be this guy in New Orleans?

Who can be this guy in New Orleans?

What is really going on at City Hall in New Orleans? The latest in e-mail-gate is that the City has fired the company it hired to find Mayor Ray Nagin’s missing e-mails. The LTC announced last week that the mayor’s email box had been “intentionally been deleted” by someone with “high-level access”.

Of course the Mayor ‘s office disputes this and instead of handling the situation in a manner that would address citizen’s concerns, in typical Nagin fashion it’s ready, fire, aim. Sadly typical of the way this administration has operated in the last three and a half years.

The administration stated that the LTC breached a confidentially agreement when they announced to the public their findings before the city had the ability to read and address the LTC findings. That may well be the case. The problem comes though from the history of the Mayor himself. About 25% of the city’s population, and frankly that is being generous, believe anything that comes out of Ray Nagin’s mouth. Mayor Nagin dug that hole himself. The mixed messages just on this one issue are enough to make someone’s head spin. The first excuse was that the server crashed, that’s why the e-mails were gone. Then Nagin says all his e-mails are on his desktop from the June 2008 to May 2009. A total of 122 emails I believe was what the Mayor stated. I guess the Mayor wanted people to think that he only received 122 emails in 12 months time. The administration stated yesterday that “there was no server crash”. Huh? Say what? If there was no server crash, then where the hell is the Mayor’s e-mail box?

The interim city technology director says the e-mails can in fact still be retrieved. My question would be to Mr. Harrison Boyd is if that is the case then why is the city hiring companies to find the box. If you know for a fact that they are “on a physical server or a virtual server” Mr. Boyd, go find them. You are the technology director. Shouldn’t you be the one to know how the city’s system works?

This whole situation stinks. This city has reporters who are bulldogs like Woodward & Bernstein from Watergate fame. Good reporters who can don’t give up in pursuit of a story. What this city really needs right now though is a Deep Throat to really let the citizens what the hell is going on at 1300 Perdido Street.

Ammonia clouds: conveniently located near you!

Just as a tiny update to yesterday’s post:

Jefferson authorities probing ammonia leak on West Bank.

So I guess containment of noxious chemical fumes really isn’t a concern in these situations. Well, not for the Port, anyway.

Wow. Just…wow.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin today hurled criticism at technology experts who claim that City Hall’s missing e-mail was intentionally removed by someone with top-drawer access to the computer system.

Assigning blame “is not their charge,” Nagin said Thursday, a day after two computer experts hired by the city said that an unknown tech-savvy person apparently removed the mayor’s e-mail inbox from the server.

In a WWL-TV interview, Nagin dismissively described the unknown individual as “some phantom employee.”

Nagin also implied that the Louisiana Technology Council, the company hired to find the data, not only was eager for “15 minutes of fame” but also was in over its head.

“I just hope that this is not a case where . . . we did not get the company with the expertise that we needed,” he said.

Heritage Foundation & Solar Energy?

Weirdest email I’ve received all week (and I’ve already gotten some doozies):

Greetings and salutations!

I would like to let everyone know of our upcoming Permaculture Courses.

RiverSolar in cooperation with the Heritage Foundation is offering weekly courses in Permaculature and Design concepts. Core concepts will be provided in block format on Fridays from 12 – 2 PM beginning July 10, 2009 at the ArtEgg Building.

Students can choose to take one class or all leading to a Permaculture Design Certificate. Please contact Doris for enrollment information.

1001 So. Broad St. New Orleans, LA

Which sounds great except for the part about the HERITAGE FOUNDATION.

Seriously: THE Heritage Foundation? The same ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation that worshiped at the feet of Ronald Reagan? The same war-mongering Heritage Foundation that pushed heavily for the invasion of Iraq (and, less successfully, Iran)? The same Heritage Foundation that looked at the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina and found it a perfect example of the need for relaxed environmental regulations? That Heritage Foundation?

UPDATE: Of course it’s not that Heritage Foundation. As the friendly Alex just pointed out:

It’s actually the Heritage Foundation for Arts and Cultural Sustainability, which shares a space in the ArtEgg building, along with RiverSolar.

Which is great, but also a really unfortunate choice of names. Oh well: at least the world makes sense again.

Hello, and welcome to summer (a few days early)

Oh, summer. Full of strawberries and handkerchiefs and ceiling fans and these:

I hate to say it, but there’s something comforting about that image. Not the storm, obviously, but the graphic itself. For folks along the Gulf Coast, those particular shades of blue and green–garish and jarring–they’re the look of summer. From now through October, they’re what we see first thing in the morning and what we look at all day long. They’re like the curtains at your grandmother’s house: dated and kind of ugly, but pleasantly familiar.

Dude. Am I getting nostalgic about hurricanes? Holy crap.

Bad Lieutenant = Rubin and Ed + Boogie Nights + Mint Juleps

Bad Lieutenant: Port of New Orleans

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

Oh, green goddess in a bottle. Have you seen the trailer for Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans? Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Among the many objections I have to the entire harmonicaporn genre, please tell me: WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO JENNIFER COOLIDGE? AND WHY?

[via TheAwl]

High hopes

I’ve said so much about the Times-Picayune over the years that I doubt I can add anything more to the discussion. Let’s just say, what was once a moderately interesting newspaper that seemed to me a tad exotic–mostly because of my Aunt Doris, colloquially known as “Aunt Tiny”, who preferred the Picayune to that dull sack of twigs and ink known as the Clarion-Ledger–has now become shadow of its former self, in line for serious changes or brutal death.

The biggest problem: the company’s online strategy (i.e. outsourcing to the craptacular C-list template factory Advance Internet). That may have been convenient ten years ago, but it’s seriously dated now; the folks at 3800 Howard Avenue need to ditch AI and hire an 8th grader–any 8th grader will do–to install WordPress and give the Picayune a nifty, pretty web presence, ideally one with an archive of permalinks. Otherwise, the citizens of Greater New Orleans are going to be left with a museum piece of a daily whose only readable sections are its two society pages. (NB: I love the society pages. Awesomeness abounds.)

That said, the Picayune has cranked out some great stories in recent weeks. I was just catching up on my RSS feeds (which I’m always surprised to see up and running at, and stumbled across these sweet headlines:

  • Little-known legislator pulled ‘rookie-doo’ on state House
  • Man with knife threatens to eat girlfriend and her grandchildren, police say
  • House defeats equal pay for women bill
  • Such hilarity. Daily, even.

    Just for the record, I sincerely hope that the Picayune survives. Even though the stories from the inside sound awfully grim–it’s like Survivor in there, complete with mutiny, cannibalism, and poisoning the water cooler–I’d like to see the paper hang around in some form. Otherwise, we’re stuck with getting info from the alleged “evening news” and Norman freakin’ Robinson. May the great green goddess have mercy on our soulless souls.

    David Vitter found living under a rock with nothing to do


    I love getting emails from Senator David Vitter. Really. They’re the highlight of my morning. Because nothing says “I am not a whoremonger” better than a short list of “news items” wherein (a) Vitter takes credit for other people’s work or (b) Vitter takes credit for his own work, which is usually mostly 99% not a great a idea.

    Today’s pick of the litter (which I would happily link to, but Vitter’s technology director hasn’t unraveled the process of archiving, so you’ll just have to trust me):

    Earlier this month I introduced a joint resolution that would allow Congress to protect the flag of the United States by preventing its desecration. The bill would give Congress the power to overrule a 1989 Supreme Court decision that declared previous flag protection laws unconstitutional.

    This year marks the 20th anniversary of that 5-4 Supreme Court vote to declare the desecration of our flag to be constitutional, yet millions of Americans and all 50 state legislatures have endorsed prohibiting flag desecration. This resolution will illustrate Congress’s support for protecting this symbol of our freedom.

    Which is just great, because those kinds of things always pass. They’re not time-wasters like silly legislation about the economy, or healthcare, or crime, or education. That’s our man.

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