Monday, April 27, 2009

4/25/2009 Community Gumbo

Listen | White House, Senate Dems Oppose Torture Commission, Energy Lobbyists Tried to Debunk Global Warming Despite Own Scientists’ Findings, Activists Conclude Indigenous Climate Summit, and more. (4/24/09 Democracy Now)

Interview with Allison McCrary and Aaron Viles on why they are picking on Shell Oil at Jazz Fest this year. Sound not available for this show.

Allison McCrary is a 2nd year law student at Loyola College of Law, the President of Public Interest Law Group, and a local community organizer around the Wiwa v. Shell case. Ms. McCrary talked about the human rights case against Shell in US civil courts. The "Wiwa" in Wiwa v. Shell refers to Ken Saro-Wiwa, an activist, author, and leader of the Ogoni people in their battle to protect their native homelands from damaging extraction practices. Mr. Saro-Wiwa was arrested by the Nigerian government along with 8 other activists and sentenced to death by hanging which led to the sanctioning of the Nigerian government by the international community. Allison will be part of a group canvassing at this year's Jazz Fest to raise awareness about the human rights case. For more information about the local Wiwa Campaign go here:

Aaron Viles, Campaign Director for the Gulf Restoration Network talked about oil accountability and the impact that the oil industry has had on Louisiana's wetlands. He said if you go to Jazz Fest on Saturday May 2nd, look up. There will be a plane flying over the Fest with the message "Shell-Hear the Music-Fix the Coast You Broke". Mr. Viles said they raised enough money for two hours of fly time thanks to a video request by Dr. John.

Shell Oil value statement

Both Allison and Aaron agreed that Jazz fest is great and supporting Jazz fest is a good thing. They explained that they are campaigning at the Fest because Shell is sponsoring it and will be paying close attention to the festival.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

4/18/2009 Community Gumbo

Listen | Noam Chomsky on the Global Economic Crisis, Healthcare, US Foreign Policy and Resistance to American Empire (4/13/09 Democracy Now)

John Hiatt, "Our Time," New West, 2008

Eilen Jewell, "Gotta Get Right,"

Listen | A Roundtable of Local Florida Journalists on the Future of Newspapers, the Role of Community Media and Cubans in Florida (4/9/09 Democracy Now)

Jose Conde y Ola Fresca, "El Chacal," Putumayo, 2008

Listen | The Challenge for Africa: Kenyan Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai on Obama, Climate Change and War (4/10/09 Democracy Now)

Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile, "Cassandra's Waltz," Nonesuch, 2008

Monday, April 06, 2009

Diversions, not as fun as it sounds!

Listen | Snippet of distinguished individuals speaking at the recent 3 day symposium titled “Mississippi Freshwater Diversion Summit” which was designed to be a serious discourse on rebuilding Louisiana’s coast using Diversions.

But, what is a Diversion? Well, it is when you take water from the Mississippi River and spill it (or divert it) over land to build the land up. Otherwise, you lose that land to the
Gulf of Mexico. The Mississippi used to do this naturally but levees prevent this from happening now. Choosing where to divert the water, how much water to divert, and when to divert it have all been insurmountable problems going back decades and has paralyzed the process. There are many stakeholders and each one seems to have veto power over the process.

The Army Corps of Engineers hosted the symposium bringing together for the first time all the competing interests from the state, federal agencies, the environmental community, landowner representatives, navigation and port authorities, levee boards, scientists, engineers, lawyers, fishermen, you name it. They were there. It was standing room only.

We all sat through many presentations on Diversions and I gathered that pretty much everyone agrees that Diversions are a great idea. So, why aren't they happening? To find out, listen to these amazing speakers talk about how to solve the gridlock from their unique perspectives.

Listen | New Orleans City Council President Jackie Clarkson speaking to the group and I was lucky to catch up with her just after her presentation for a quick interview.

Listen | Len Bahr, the brains behind, a blog he started after retiring from his position with the State as resident expert on all things coastal. Here him talk about his surprise to be so positive about the summit and the importance of addressing nutrient pollution in the river.

Listen | Matt Rota, Director of Water Resources for the Gulf Restoration Network asks for some changes to come out of this meeting and recommends making a timeline.

Listen | Dr. Denise Reed, professor at University of New Orleans, and I talk about what she thinks about the summit and the best solution to fix our coastal problems.

Listen | Pam Dasheil with the Lower 9th ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development and I talked about how the rebuilding efforts in the 9 were progressing and her thoughts on river diversions.

Listen | Carlton Dufrochou, Executive Director of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation is in rare form here as he makes a plea for South Louisiana.

Listen | Earl Melancon, professor of Biology at Nicholls State University, talks about how to pronounce his name and assures us that oysters and river diversions can co-exist.

Listen | John Barry from the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority eloquently explains the politics behind the decision making process.

Listen | Mike Benge, with Delacroix Corporation was at the Summit to talk about the impacts that the Caernarvon Diversion has had on large landowners.

Listen | John Day, LSU Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences

As for me, I just hope we can start moving some dirt. Hurricane season is fast approaching!