Saturday, June 24, 2006

6/24/2006 Community Gumbo

Professor Longhair, "Mean Old World."

audio 6/20/06 Democracy Now
Bloodshed in Afghanistan as U.S. Launches Largest Military Offensive Since 2001

All New Orleans Public School Teachers Fired, Millions in Federal Aid Channeled to Private Charter Schools

Thousands of New Orleans Public Housing Units to be Destroyed as 200,000+ Low-Income Residents Remain Displaced

audio New Orleans Festival of Neighborhoods
New Orleans' Festival of Neighborhoods showcases neighborhood planning and recovery efforts, and provides a venue for residents throughout the city to network in a relaxed, festive environment, while they learn about what other neighborhoods have accomplished. An interview with Mercy Corps organizer Kimmie McMinn.

Trombone Shorty, "We Gonna Make You."

audio Coliseum Baptist Church Demolition

It took the City of New Orleans more than nine months to begin the process of removing flooded cars from the streets, and the city still isn't cleared of debris, but it took little more than 30 hours to decide to demolish what may be the oldest baptist church in the South.

audio Critical Resistance argues that the National Guard Deployment to New Orleans won't reduce crime
An interview with Critical Resistance organizer Tamika Middleton.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

6/17/2006 Community Gumbo

The city's neighborhood planning process takes a major step forward today with a meeting to vote on final rules and candidates to guide the rebuilding process, but neighborhood organizers complain that they aren't being included in the process. More at the People Get Ready blog.

audio New Orleans: Dead and Gone?
This many months after Katrina it seems like New Orleans is still a really hard place to live. Huge patches of the city are uninhabited. More than half residents haven’t come back. Only 17 of 122 public schools have reopened. There is still debris everywhere…junked out cars and twisted metal street signs, even in front of the Superdome. Did we mention last Thursday was the start of hurricane season and that there are 17 named storms forecast for this year? ...

Is it time to recognize that New Orleans just isn’t coming back?

Despite everyone’s hope against hope, has the daily grind of dealing with FEMA become too much, even for the city’s most enterprising souls? Is New Orleans slowly bleeding to death? Is it already dead?

Or are we judging the long road to recovery too hastily?

Open Source was conceived and developed by Christopher Lydon and Mary McGrath. A joint production of Open Source Media Inc. and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Open Source is presented by WGBH Radio Boston and distributed by Public Radio International (PRI).

Special thanks to former WTUL DJ Brendan Greeley for granting permission to re-broadcast Open Source

Related: From a Wedding in New Orleans

Hammond, LA, Sunday Afternoon

Crazy love keeps a native at home

audio New Orleans residents protest HUD plan to demolish public housing developments


Lolis Eric Elie, "HUD builds Katrina hall of shame," The Times-Picayune
While tens of thousands of New Orleanians languish far away from home, HUD proposes to reopen 1,000 units of public housing by summer's end.

By summer's end?

The federal government controls most public housing in New Orleans, yet it has done next to nothing to repair those complexes.

As for the 1,000 units, the St. Bernard housing complex alone contained 1,300 units. One thousand units is not many compared with how many such units are needed.

I shouldn't be surprised. This latest disaster is consistent with the confluence of federal failures: the porous floodwalls designed by the Army Corps of Engineers, the callous incompetence of FEMA, to name the most obvious pair.

Key to the federal plan is the demolition of four complexes: St. Bernard in Gentilly, C.J. Peete in Central City, B.W. Cooper off Earhart Boulevard, and Lafitte near the Faubourg Treme. These sites will be turned into mixed-income communities.

Exactly what is wrong with these buildings?

"We want to redevelop these old, obsolete and just dangerous properties," said Scott Keller, HUD's deputy chief of staff.

When you consider that many houses in New Orleans are more than 100 years old, none of the public housing complexes can be criticized for their age.

As for these properties being obsolete or dangerous, high-density properties need not necessarily be either. In many places, New York City for example, such buildings are coveted. ...

As much as any other impediment, HUD's three-year timetable ensures that many of our people will never return home. Hardest hit by the government's slovenly pace will be the poorest and darkest of our citizens.

The federal role in their permanent removal is as undeniable as it is despicable.

Gwen Filosa, "HUD demolition plan protested," The Times-Picayune:
Dozens of public housing residents Thursday protested the federal government's plan to demolish four complexes in New Orleans, saying they are left without homes in a city where rentals are nearly impossible to find.

One day after U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson announced that New Orleans would lose housing complexes but gain a "renaissance" of better low-income housing, some of the families who called St. Bernard, Lafitte, C.J. Peete and B.W. Cooper home cried foul at a City Council hearing. ...

HUD, which essentially runs the Housing Authority of New Orleans since it fell into dire mismanagement by 2002, said it will reopen 1,000 more units of public housing by August, bringing the number of units to more than 2,000: almost half the public housing stock that existed before Hurricane Katrina.

HUD also has raised its Section 8 and disaster housing vouchers by 35 percent to keep up with post-Katrina rent increases across the city. ...

"It's important to see everyone be able to come back," said Scott Keller, deputy chief of staff for HUD, who spoke in place of Jackson, who had to return to Washington, D.C., for a meeting. "We don't want gangs. We don't want unsafe conditions. We want single moms to be safe, and their children."

Keller said the plan will improve public housing and raise the standard of living for its residents. When one critic challenged the agency's intentions, Keller responded in kind.

New Orleans Free Speech Radio News reporter Christian Roselund supplied interviews with HUD Deputy Chief of Staff Scott Keller, and housing residents (archived audio not yet available).

The NOLA Food Map Project
Interview with Max Elliott from the New Orleans Food & Farm Network, on the NOLA Food Map Project to create maps that show residents in devastated areas where food is available, from grocery stores and markets, to restaurants and emergency kitchens.

NOFFN has organized Food For Our Sake to raise money in support of the NOLA Food Map Project. The list of participating restaurants which will donate a portion of their receipts to the project and be found at the NOFFN Web site.

Food maps will eventually be printed and distributed, and can be viewed online at

Saturday, June 10, 2006

6/10/2006 Community Gumbo

audio 6/05/06 Democracy Now
  • "No Good Science Goes Unpunished" - Environmental Journalist David Helvarg on the Bush Administration, Climate Change and Hurricanes

  • Activists, Celebs Stage Encampment For South Central Farm

  • British Antiwar Activist Salma Yaqoob on Iraq, Muslim Discrimination and Being the First Hijab-Wearing Woman Elected to City Council in Birmingham

Raul Peres-Valdes, "La Paloma," recorded in Havana, 5/30/2003.

audio New Orleans AK
The pilot edition of New Orleans AK (after Katrina), a weekly radio show on current events and social justice issues in the Crescent City:
  • Christian Roselund reports on the condition of New Orleans' levee system on the start of a new hurricane season.

  • Krystal Muhammud interviews Fred Hampton, Jr. on the legacy of Malcolm X.

  • Mikkel Allen-Loper reports on the struggle for living wages by immigrant workers.
New Orleans AK is a collective creation of Public Digital Urban Broadcasters (P-DUB) members Krystal Muhammud, Mayaba Leibenthal, Mikkel Allen-Loper, Christian Roselund and Corlita Mahr.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

6/03/2006 Community Gumbo

5/31/06 Democracy Now

Electronic Voting Machine Study Exposes Most Serious Security Flaws Ever Documented

Citizen Journalism: A Look at How Blogging is Changing the Media Landscape from the Congo to Korea

Sebastian Yradier, "La Paloma," Allar Õunapuu.

Bob Dylan, "To Ramona", Bob Dylan Live 1964 - Concert At Philharmonic Hall.

audio Studio 360: The New New Orleans
The reconstruction of New Orleans may be years away, but plans are coming off the drawing board. Andrés Duany and his team of “New Urbanists” have come to New Orleans with their vision of the future: 19th century-style town plans that encourage compact living and walkability. That’s roused the ire of some modernist architects, who think the New Urbanist vision is a nostalgia theme park. Kurt Andersen travels down to Louisiana to find out whether the future is in the past. Produced by Michele Siegel with Jason Rhein.

Thanks to Michele Siegel and the rest of the team at Studio 360 for making the airing of this production possible. This story originally aired on Studio 360, a co-producton of Public Radio International and WNYC radio. You can find out more at

Related: The professionals are coming.

Polo Montañez, "Amanece El Nuevo Año," Guajiro Natural.

Eliades Ochoa, "Ella Si Va," Estoy Como Nunca.

Ibrahim Ferrer, "Nuestra Ultima Cita," Buena Vista Social Club Presents Ibrahim Ferrer.

Benny Moré, "Dolor y Perdon," The Voice and Work of Benny Moré.

Billy Bragg & Wilco, "One By One," Mermaid Avenue.

Brian Eno, "An Ending (Ascent)," Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks.