Saturday, July 29, 2006

7/29/2006 Community Gumbo

audio Democracy Now (7/28/06)
  • Headlines for July 28, 2006.
  • NATIONAL EXCLUSIVE: Hezbollah Leader Hassan Nasrallah Talks With Former US Diplomats on Israel, Prisoners and Hezbollah’s Founding.
  • After 2+ Years in Prison, Hunger Striking Former Haitian Prime Minister Yvon Neptune is Freed.
  • Chicago Approves Living Wage Over Objections of Mayor, Wal Mart.

Neko Case, "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood."

audio The Big Easy Roller Girls: Through Hell and High Water

In New Orleans, the post-Katrina resurrection of roller derby represents more than just a triumph for the sport. It’s an unexpected sign of the rebirth of a city still marked by a dirty floodwater bathtub ring, and it’s a powerful, tangible symbol of the gritty spirit of her people as they rebuild their lives and their homes.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.

The Big Easy Roller Girls Benefit at One-Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse.
Come and party for a good cause!! Lots of great prizes and great music featuring Rotary Downs, Terra Diablo(all the way from Scotland) and Clockwork Elvis. All proceeds to benefit the Big Easy Roller Girls so they can get they shit up and running!! Reprazent!

Doors @ 9pm
Tix $10

The Big Easy Roller Girls

Sin City Skates

Drive-By Truckers, "A Blessing and a Curse."

Smuteye, "Rope Swing."

A reading by Flood and Loathing blogger Dale Hrebik (postponed until next week).

Saturday, July 22, 2006

7/22/2006 Community Gumbo

Joe Callicott, "Frankie and Albert," Ain't A Gonna Lie To You.

audio Democracy Now (7/21/06)
  • Headlines for July 21, 2006
  • Israel Warns 300,000 Lebanese To Flee Homes as Ground Invasion Nears
  • U.S. Arming of Israel: How U.S. Weapons Manufacturers Profit From Middle East Conflict
  • U.S. Citizen Evacuating Beirut Fears For Lebanese Friends Left Behind
  • Israeli Refusenik vs. Israeli Peace Party Member: A Debate on Israel's Assault on Lebanon

audio Broadmoor Lives! The Broadmoor Rebuilding Plan
New Orleans residents looking for good news post-Katrina might look to the plan just released to rebuild the Broadmoor Neighborhood. Among 73 neighborhoods, only Lakeview and Gentilly have plans. Now, with the release of the Broadmoor Improvement Association rebuilding plan, there's one cause for celebration. The Broadmoor plan is the first true grass-roots plan -- comprehensive in its detail, democratic in its structure, and utilizing a cutting edge mapping and records management system to detail what every Broadmoor resident plans to do with their homes.

Houses being raised in the Broadmoor neighborhood.

A common aggravation for New Orleans drivers: Street debris -- especially roofing nails -- and flat tires.

Broadmoor pride.

The Church of the Annunciation -- accomodating Broadmoor planning activities.

Merchandise to raise money for the Broadmoor planning and rebuilding effort.

Approximately 400 Broadmoor residents attended to see the rollout of the Broadmoor rebuilding plan (Mon. 7/17/06).

Mayor Ray Nagin's Bring New Orleans Back Commission gets a good-humor jab from a speaker.

Mayor Ray Nagin addresses Broadmoor residents.

Watch for these lightpost banners in the next few weeks.

You shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in (Isaiah 58:12).

Broadmoor Neighborhood Situation Report

People Get Ready -- People are doin' it for themselves

Saturday, 10 a.m.-noon, in Room 308 of the Loyola Law School, 526 Pine St. The seminar, conducted by the Loyola Law Clinic and the Pro Bono Project with the help of Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, will focus on how to file lawsuits involving insurance claims, along with other Katrina-related topics. Call (504) 861-5590.

-- Mondays, 9:30-11 a.m., at Nonprofit Central, 1824 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. Call (504) 309-2081, ext. 315, or (504) 491-7190.

-- Wednesday, 3-5 p.m., at K&B Plaza, 1055 St. Charles Ave. Sponsored by New Orleans Housing Resource Center, New Orleans Neighborhood Development Collaborative, Consumer Credit Counseling Services and CapitalOne, the workshop will focus on "Purchasing a Home: the Prequalification and Home Mortgage Application Process. To register call (504) 527-0499 or e-mail

-- Wednesdays, 6-7:30 p.m., at the Musicians Union Hall, 2401 Esplanade Ave. Visit or call (504) 208-1575.

A more complete list of neighborhood association meetings and other community events can be found in The Times-Picayune listings, and at the New Orleans Network.

John Campbell, "When the Levee Breaks," Howlin Mercy.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

7/15/2006 Community Gumbo

audio Democracy Now (7/14/06)
Noam Chomsky: U.S.-Backed Israeli Policies Pursuing "End of Palestine"; Hezbollah Capture of Israeli Soldiers "Very Irresponsible Act" That Could Lead To "Extreme Disaster"

The One Percent Doctrine: Journalist Ron Suskind on the Deliberate U.S. Bombing of Al Jazeera, Losing Bin Laden and More

audio How high will New Orleans residents have to raise their homes?
In response to increasing pressure from residents to find out whether or not they would have to raise their destroyed homes in order to get flood insurance in the future, the Federal Emergency Management Administration announced Advisory Base Flood Elevations in April. Homeowners anticipated that FEMA would release building requirements that reflected updated base flood elevation values throughout the city. Instead, FEMA announced that all houses which sustained 50 percent or more damage would have to be raised to the higher of either three feet above the Highest Existing Adjacent Grade (HEAG), or the 1984 Flood Insurance Rate Map requirements.

Basic facts:
  • The 1984 Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) are based on a Flood Insurance Study (FIS) of Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA).

  • FIRMs require the elevation of the lowest habitable floor to be at the elevation indicated on the FIRM.

  • The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a federal program established by the 1968 National Flood Insurance Act. Participation in the NFIP requires an agreement between communities and the federal government. Communities must meet standards in the issuance of building permits, and in managing coastal areas and flood plains.

  • Base Flood Elevation (BFE) represents the average floodwater elevation for a 100-year flood event. This means that floors of buildings constructed to this standard will sit above floodwater and will avoid damage in all but the most severe flood events.

  • New Orleans' 1984 BFE is formulated on criteria for flood areas protected by levees as per NFIP.

  • The Recovery Guidance Advisory Base Flood Elevations (ABFE) assume that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is on an aggressive path to repair and improve the flood control system.

  • Flood zones B and X have no flood elevation indication, and no flood insurance is required.

The New Orleans City Council presented a public meeting on Thursday to consider the array of problems associated with implementing FEMA's Advisory Base Flood Elevations.

With 50 percent or more of a home's value damaged in zones B or X, the existing guideline to build at 1'4" above the crown of the road would no longer be acceptable.

The new ABFE requires homes in zones B and X to be raised to 3' above the Highest Existing Adjacent Grade. For most practical purposes, the HEAG is the crown of the road.

Before Hurricane Katrina, homeowners were required to have the first habitable floor raised to the 1984 Base Flood Elevation. In the following example, the house would have to be raised 3', since raising the house to the 1984 is only 1.5' -- less than the 3' required by the new ABFE.

The new ABFE's would eliminate slab home construction on properties damaged more than 50 percent of their value.

In the following example, the 1984 BFE is higher than the new 3' ABFE. The house must be raised 3.5' to the higher 1984 elevation.

In the following example, again, the 1984 BFE is the higher standard, and the house would have to be raised to 6.5' to that level. In this case, however, the homeowner might consider going higher than 6.5 feet to create an uninhabited garage or storage area under the house.

In this last example, again, the 3' ABFE guideline is the lesser value. The house would have to be raised 8.5' to the 1984 BFE.

Currently, the 1984 Base Flood Elevations are in effect. The ABFE has not been adopted by the City of New Orleans. This is causing considerable confusion, because while a decision by the city is pending, on some future date, the Louisiana Recovery Authority will probably require homeowners to follow the 3' ABFE guideline. Still, in many cases where homes sustained storm damage exceeding 50 percent of the house's value (not caused by flooding), or where flooding was greater than 3', the logic of forcing owners to follow the 3' guideline is still in doubt.

People Get Ready -- Damned if you do, damned if you don't

Advisory Base Flood Elevation presentation (pdf) (the original color slide Powerpoint presentation from which the above images were taken)

A Citizen's Guide To This Whole House Raising Thing, From Someone Who's Gone Through It (pdf)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

7/08/2006 Community Gumbo

audio Democracy Now (7/04/06)
StoryCorps: National Social History Project Records Ordinary People Telling Their Stories to Each Other

Camera Obscura, "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken."

audio Tulane University Merges the Newcomb College for Women with Tulane College
A Civil District Judge denied a motion last week for an injunction to prevent Tulane University from closing the Newcomb College for Women. On July 1st, Newcomb College was merged with Tulane College, creating a single administrative entity to advise all undergraduate students.

In the future, the H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College Institute will serve the needs of undergraduate women on campus.

Opponents of the Tulane post-Katrina restructuring plan, who include descendants of Josephine Louise Newcomb, vowed to continue the fight to keep Newcomb College alive as a separate degree-granting institution for women.

Josephine Louise Newcomb created Newcomb College in 1886 as a memorial to her daughter, Sophie, who died at a young age.

In part 1 of this Community Gumbo segment, an interview with Renee Seblatnigg, the President of The Future of Newcomb College, leading the effort to keep Newcomb College open.

Part 2 of Community Gumbo features an interview with Yvette Jones, the Tulane Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President for External Affairs.

Efforts to keep Newcomb College alive continue at NEWCOMBLIVES.COM.

More about the Newcomb Memorial Institute can be found at NEWCOMB.TULANE.EDU.

Neko Case, "Favorite."

Cat Power, "The Greatest."

Saturday, July 01, 2006

7/1/2006 Community Gumbo

audio Democracy Now (6/27/06)
Supreme Court Overturns Vermont Campaign Finance Law

Is Bush Administration's Bank Spy Program One Part of a Resurgent Total Information Awareness?

Former Bush Spokesman Urges Newspapers to Run Pro-War Stories by Former Vets With GOP Ties

Lawmakers, Regulators Face Key Decisions on Future of Media Ownership, Internet, Public Access, Low Power Radio

Susan Cowsill, "Nanny's Song," Just Believe It.

Prometheus Radio News Flash: The Senate Commerce Committee voted to expand low power FM radio
The Senate Commerce Committee voted on June 28, 2006 to expand low power FM radio, as an amendment onto a large telecommunications bill that covers everything from your access to the internet to your public access TV stations. Read our release to learn more about this important step towards an expanded low power FM radio service.

Learn which Senators voted to expand low power FM radio here.

On June 28th, advocates of low power FM (LPFM) radio, a service used by churches, schools, activist organizations, emergency responders, and hundreds of communities, applauded the Senate Commerce Committee's vote to expand the low power FM radio service.

The vote approved an amendment to a major telecommunications bill currently before the Commerce Committee. This vote marks a major step towards the expansion of low power FM radio to the large cities of the United States, and potentially hundreds, if not thousands, of other communities across this country. The vote also affirms the Commerce Committee's previous support of LPFM in 2004 and 2005.

Senator McCain (R-AZ), a sponsor of the bill, stated that after 2 years and 2.2 million dollars of taxpayer money were spent, the study reaffirmed the FCC's original conclusions in favor of a full low power FM radio service. "I think we ought to send the National Association of Broadcasters a bill for that study," said McCain.

Senator Cantwell, (D-WA), another of the bill's sponsors, said that low power FM radio was about allowing the diverse voices of America to speak. "The only people left opposing this bill are those who oppose that diversity,” said the Senator.

You can read this amendment here (pdf document).

What would this amendment do? This amendment would remove the artificial restriction that the FCC was forced to put on our airwaves in 2000, keeping low power FM radio from America's cities and thousands of our towns. Hundreds, if not thousands, of new radio frequencies would be opened up to communities across the country.

What's our goal? Senate Bill 2686 will have over 100 amendments offered onto it, and the expansion of low power FM radio is just one. Even though we all might have to come together later this year to defeat this bill (we're not trading low power FM for public access TV -- no way!), this is an important chance to show support for LPFM on the floor of the senate, on this bill, and in all future legislation. If this amendment is voted down on the floor, we'll have to start over at square one to expand LPFM to our communities.


What can you do? You can call your Senator - today - and ask them to support low power FM radio on Senate Bill 2686 -- the Communications, Consumer's Choice, and Broadband Deployment Act of 2006. We aren't crying wolf -- we need you to call - immediately - as this bill will start getting debated this week.

Learn more about low power FM radio stations serving their communities, and read about a station near you here.


Get involved with the fight to protect access to the internet by visiting and

Mercy Corps Drum Circle
EVENT: Drum Circle, hosted by Mercy Corps.

TIME: 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

PLACE: St. Augustine Church, 1210 Gov. Nicholls St., New Orleans.

ADMISSION: Free and open to the public. Some instruments will be available or you may bring your own drum.

Over the course of Sundays throughout the Summer of 2006 (June 18th, July 2nd, July 16th, July 30th, and August 13th), Mercy Corps invites all members of the community to join together to create a series of healing drum circles.

Rhythmic Roots: The Backbeat of Healing, The Heartbeat of a Community will provide an opportunity for everyone to commune together in honor of the culture and people of New Orleans. Each drum circle will feature three professional percussionists to lead the group efforts. The inclusion of Mardi Gras Indians and brass bands will highlight the cultural interconnection and organic evolution of music in New Orleans. Rhythmic Roots will bring together pivotal elements of New Orleans musical culture focused around the pulse of the drum. The rhythm of healing will involve the community with a free event reflecting the spirit and culture of New Orleans. The Rhythmic Roots drum circles will be held in the field of the churchyard of St. Augustine Church in the historical Treme neighborhood. St. Augustine provides an ideal venue to inspire a diverse crowd to experience Rhythmic Roots.

More about Mercy Corps drum circles can be read in Blogging New Orleans

audio Louisiana Shrimpers going out of business because of low prices
A couple of weeks ago, a crowd of shrimpers gathered at the state capitol in Baton Rouge to call for an investigation into price fixing, which they say is at 1950’s levels.

Shrimpers are the backbone of the economies in many of rural south Louisiana communities. In addition to having to repair their homes and rebuild from the devastation that Katrina and Rita dealt them, shrimpers are having to confront the economic hardships of competing with cheap imported shrimp and possible price fixing by processors.

Lee Dorsey, "Get Out of My Life Woman."

Coliseum Baptist Church Update
Following last week's Community Gumbo segment on the demolition of the Coliseum Baptist Church, the demolition proceeded unabated.

This is all that remains of the 150-year-old church.

More about the Coliseum Baptist Church demolition can be read at The Third Battle of New Orleans and VatulBlog (here and here).

Mary Heft Update
Maureen Missavage produced a story for Community Gumbo which aired on May 6th about Mid-City resident Mary Heft, who was living in her flooded, moldy house because she couldn't get a FEMA trailer.

WWL reporter Bill Capo interviewed Mary Heft this past week for an Action Report feature.

In the June 28th Action Report, Mary Heft had a FEMA trailer on her property, but she couldn't get keys to get into the trailer.

Following the June 28th report, Mary Heft got the keys to her trailer, and in the June 29th Action Report, Mary Heft expressed her joy at finally being able to get into her trailer.

audio Democracy Now (6/19/06)
Paul Krugman on the New Class War in America

Catpower, "American Flag."