People Get Ready

[ make levees, not war ]

Archive for the ‘Neighborhood Preservation’ Category

John Edwards: “People Get Ready!”

Posted by schroeder915 on December 27, 2006

The wording of the announcement is uncanny. From the John Edwards One America website, blogger philgoblue quoted John Edwards in spirit, if not verbatim: “People Get Ready!”

edwards_pgr.jpg

By announcing his candidacy for President in the 2008 election from the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans, John Edwards is sending a powerful message to the rest of the nation, and the world, that New Orleans will no longer be neglected; that the rebuilding of New Orleans is a symbol of the kind of nation the United States of America should be, where the least among us is treated with dignity, where resources aren’t squandered on a rich minority, but invested in the infinite potential of the multitudes, where hope in a brighter future replaces fear exploited for partisan or personal gain, where one of the greatest cities on Earth is recognized for its cultural and economic contribution to the world.

jre_in_nola_with_volunteers.jpg

Thank God we finally have an intelligent, eloquent, respected spokesperson of national stature to keep New Orleans in the spotlight.

122706_edwards_02.jpg
Charles Dharapak / AP

I’ve said it many times before: As New Orleans goes, so goes the rest of the nation.

Posted in 2008 Elections, Category 5 Storm Protection, Coastal Restoration, Failure is not an option, Global Warming, John Edwards, Katrina Dissidents, Louisiana, Neighborhood Preservation, New Orleans, Rebuild New Orleans | 19 Comments »

John Edwards: “People Get Ready!”

Posted by schroeder915 on December 27, 2006

The wording of the announcement is uncanny. From the John Edwards One America website, blogger philgoblue quoted John Edwards in spirit, if not verbatim: “People Get Ready!”

edwards_pgr.jpg

By announcing his candidacy for President in the 2008 election from the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans, John Edwards is sending a powerful message to the rest of the nation, and the world, that New Orleans will no longer be neglected; that the rebuilding of New Orleans is a symbol of the kind of nation the United States of America should be, where the least among us is treated with dignity, where resources aren’t squandered on a rich minority, but invested in the infinite potential of the multitudes, where hope in a brighter future replaces fear exploited for partisan or personal gain, where one of the greatest cities on Earth is recognized for its cultural and economic contribution to the world.

jre_in_nola_with_volunteers.jpg

Thank God we finally have an intelligent, eloquent, respected spokesperson of national stature to keep New Orleans in the spotlight.

122706_edwards_02.jpg
Charles Dharapak / AP

I’ve said it many times before: As New Orleans goes, so goes the rest of the nation.

Posted in 2008 Elections, Category 5 Storm Protection, Coastal Restoration, Failure is not an option, Global Warming, John Edwards, Katrina Dissidents, Louisiana, Neighborhood Preservation, New Orleans, Rebuild New Orleans | Leave a Comment »

When the road leads nowhere

Posted by schroeder915 on December 11, 2006

Ray in New Orleans is a housegutting machine. He recently got a good soul food meal, and lot’s to think about at a Common Ground site:

There is no Road Home for renters, there was no renters insurance, so everything he owned is gone and isn’t coming back and there’s nobody around who’s going to help him replace it. …

So he has a chicken and egg problem. One of the many chicken and egg problems that people face. He can’t rent his own place without a job, but he can’t get his old job back without first getting his own place. So he feeds the Common Ground house gutters while he tries to sort out how to get sorted out.

You might think that was posted sometime last year after Hurricane Katrina. Surely people must be moving on with their lives by now, right?

Wrong.

Ray posted that story YESTERDAY. Hard-working people who CAN work, who have skills, are being punished because the federal disaster response to the federal disaster has been a pathetic disaster.

Posted in Failure is not an option, Housegutting, Hurricane Katrina, Katrina Dissidents, Neighborhood Preservation, New Orleans, Rebuild New Orleans | 2 Comments »

I’m not supporting carpetbaggers anymore

Posted by schroeder915 on December 9, 2006

I went to my usual post-Katrina barber this afternoon. It’s a convenient walk from my post-Katrina apartment. It’s not a great place for a haircut. I just like it for the comfort of a decent haircut, average folks, and the familiar smell of a barber shop. I’m not sure I’ll go back after today.

The guy cutting my hair was very agreeable. No problem there. He made some small talk about holiday shopping. I said I was going down to Festivus on Sunday, and the Kingpin flea market, and would be browsing the shops on Magazine Street and the French Quarter for some uniquely New Orleans gifts.

One of the cultural benefits of living in a place like New Orleans is the rich diversity of locally-owned niche stores. We’ve already lost too many of them due to Hurricane Katrina, and to the failure of the Bush administration to support small business owners here.

The barber responded that he lived in Slidell and did all his Christmas shopping on Wednesday at the outlet mall in Biloxi. Yeah, forty percent off. No, he didn’t know if that was forty percent off of the usual prices, or forty percent off of inflated outlet prices. Aside from the fact that I’m glad I’m not getting any gifts from that guy, I thought to myself, “what a carpetbagger!”

I found it difficult to be sociable after that. The guy earns his living in New Orleans, lives on the North Shore, and doesn’t even patronize Louisiana businesses for the biggest shopping season of the year! That’s like eating seed before it’s sewn. He’s taking money from New Orleanians — many of whom are small business owners themselves, unsure how long they can hang on — and he’s spending their money across the state line in a mall, effectively exporting New Orleans dollars to another state in a crummy little franchise shopping mall.

If everyone did that, New Orleans would look like … well … Biloxi.

staylocallist.gif

You can make a difference in New Orleans. Make a statement. Join the more than 350 people who have pledged make at least 25 percent of their holiday purchases in New Orleans. The goal is for 1000 people to pledge.

I think 25 percent is a pretty low target. I find that I’m far more productive, and find gifts that people appreciate more, when I shop in locally-owned businesses, because the creativity, craftsmanship, and quality is so much greater than one can find in a mall.

Find out who your local businesses are by using the Stay Local directory.

Happy holidays!

Related:

Community Gumbo – Stay Local this holiday season

 

Elizabeth Mullener – Your City is a Gift

 

Chris Rose – Shop or We’ll Drop

 

Mac Ball – Shop Locally for Our Sake

 

Patricia Livingston – Donate old blankets to pets at LA/SPCA

 

Judy Walker – Restock and Rejoice

Posted in Katrina Dissidents, Neighborhood Preservation, New Orleans | 2 Comments »

I’m not supporting carpetbaggers anymore

Posted by schroeder915 on December 9, 2006

I went to my usual post-Katrina barber this afternoon. It’s a convenient walk from my post-Katrina apartment. It’s not a great place for a haircut. I just like it for the comfort of a decent haircut, average folks, and the familiar smell of a barber shop. I’m not sure I’ll go back after today.

The guy cutting my hair was very agreeable. No problem there. He made some small talk about holiday shopping. I said I was going down to Festivus on Sunday, and the Kingpin flea market, and would be browsing the shops on Magazine Street and the French Quarter for some uniquely New Orleans gifts.

One of the cultural benefits of living in a place like New Orleans is the rich diversity of locally-owned niche stores. We’ve already lost too many of them due to Hurricane Katrina, and to the failure of the Bush administration to support small business owners here.

The barber responded that he lived in Slidell and did all his Christmas shopping on Wednesday at the outlet mall in Biloxi. Yeah, forty percent off. No, he didn’t know if that was forty percent off of the usual prices, or forty percent off of inflated outlet prices. Aside from the fact that I’m glad I’m not getting any gifts from that guy, I thought to myself, “what a carpetbagger!”

I found it difficult to be sociable after that. The guy earns his living in New Orleans, lives on the North Shore, and doesn’t even patronize Louisiana businesses for the biggest shopping season of the year! That’s like eating seed before it’s sewn. He’s taking money from New Orleanians — many of whom are small business owners themselves, unsure how long they can hang on — and he’s spending their money across the state line in a mall, effectively exporting New Orleans dollars to another state in a crummy little franchise shopping mall.

If everyone did that, New Orleans would look like … well … Biloxi.

staylocallist.gif

You can make a difference in New Orleans. Make a statement. Join the more than 350 people who have pledged make at least 25 percent of their holiday purchases in New Orleans. The goal is for 1000 people to pledge.

I think 25 percent is a pretty low target. I find that I’m far more productive, and find gifts that people appreciate more, when I shop in locally-owned businesses, because the creativity, craftsmanship, and quality is so much greater than one can find in a mall.

Find out who your local businesses are by using the Stay Local directory.

Happy holidays!

Related:

Community Gumbo – Stay Local this holiday season

 

Elizabeth Mullener – Your City is a Gift

 

Chris Rose – Shop or We’ll Drop

 

Mac Ball – Shop Locally for Our Sake

 

Patricia Livingston – Donate old blankets to pets at LA/SPCA

 

Judy Walker – Restock and Rejoice

Posted in Katrina Dissidents, Neighborhood Preservation, New Orleans | Leave a Comment »

Is commercial radio listening to you?

Posted by schroeder915 on November 15, 2006

When was the last time local broadcast media — radio in particular — did a detailed story about your neighborhood’s planning process?

Has the local broadcast media covered the move by the Archdiocese to destroy the architecturally and culturally unique St. Francis Cabrini Church, scheduled to fall under the wrecking ball this Friday?

Do you think you might like to have some airtime to get the word out about your neighborhood battles?

You could, if you had an outlet.

First, you need to challenge the broadcasting license of a commercial broadcaster.

If the guys who get paid to cover important issues of concern to the community aren’t serving the community, then they don’t get to keep their broadcasting licenses. We just need to remind them, and the FCC, of that small detail.

When they do hire talent, broadcasters need to make sure they hire hosts who are well-informed and balanced in their interviews. That’s not what we’re getting with WWL. Neither is it what we’re getting with that other new Republican radio station. In their lineup of crooks and liars, at least “The New 99.5” Clear Channel/Fox News station in New Orleans “didn’t hire ex-FEMA head Mike (heckuva job) Brown.” But it can’t be too far off given the Bush regime apologists they hired as hosts.

Posted in Clear Channel, Historic Preservation, Katrina Dissidents, Media, Media Democracy, Neighborhood Preservation, New Orleans, Radio, Rebuild New Orleans, Unified New Orleans Plan, Worst President Ever, WRNO | 19 Comments »

Better dead than blue

Posted by schroeder915 on November 12, 2006

For most of the day on Saturday, WSMB 1350 AM was broadcasting … dead air!

If this is what Entercom had in mind by killing the progressive talk Air America Radio format in New Orleans, their motto must be “better dead air than blue.”

So much for Entercom’s “on demand” schedule of WWL 870 AM/105.3 FM re-runs on 1350. Today, however, they’re back to broadcasting the same content on three FCC-licensed frequencies.

I don’t take issue with the logic that citizens would benefit from a time-shifted schedule which offers interviews on topics of interest to New Orleanians rebuilding their lives and their city. I do, however, object to Entercom simply dumping that content on two other stations. I do take issue with the competence and objectivity of WWL’s hosts. Far better could be done within the program schedule on WWL alone — and by more completely utilizing archived content online.

If Entercom management wanted to re-broadcast its WWL content, there are 15 hours a week in Rush Limbaugh partisan drug-addled rants that could have been eliminated. There are 20 hours a week of Monica Pierre listening to her co-host “aaah”-Bob-“aaah”-Del-“aaah”-Giorno-“aaah” talking about himself. If DelGiorno stopped saying “aaah” all the time, WWL could probably find another 10 hours. There’s George Noory’s alien abductions on “Coast-to-Coast” — another 20 hours a week. There’s 15 hours a week of sports talk with Bobby Hebert and Kenny Wilkerson. On 1350 AM, there’s Tom Fitzmorris’ food show that’s about as interesting and relevant to New Orleans’ recovery as watching cows graze. I support the restaurant business, wholeheartedly, but 15 hours a week is excessive.

Some of those shows may have loyal listeners, but, for example, do we really need three hours a day of sports talk, when we may not have sports in this town for very much longer without a city, as long as we can’t get Category 5 storm protection and coastal restoration, when insurance companies and contractors are ripping off citizens, when more than 200,000 residents are still spread out across the nation wondering when they might be able to get back into their homes? By the same token, do we need to hear about alien abductions, and Tom Fitzmorris humming while ingratiating himself?

I suspect that what’s really happening is that Entercom made a decision to cut costs. The dead air on Saturday is probably more owing to the fact that Entercom operates the station unattended. I’ve suspected as much before, since advertising and station id’s frequently play on top of regular programs on 1350. And the reason why Entercom is dumping redundant content on three licensed frequencies, is because it’s cheaper to do it. They don’t have to hire any additional people to create original content on those other stations!

Again, Entercom can’t be allowed to offer right-wing partisan views, without in fairness delivering an alternative perspective. Republican radio vs. Democratic radio isn’t the ideal for what we need to foster open, civil dialog in our democracy. The Fairness Doctrine is. We should restore the Fairness Doctrine for the well-being of our democracy. Barring restoration of the Fairness Doctrine, we should roll back media concentration. And barring a rollback of media concentration, we should demand better and more balanced use of the public airwaves. Tell the new Democratic Congress to reign in corporate control of our media.

Then:

  • Tell Entercom management to dump Rush Limbaugh or restore the progressive talk format on WSMB.
  •  

  • Tell Entercom management to use its WWL schedule more wisely so that listeners can hear the vital information provided by guests interviewed at other times — without infringing upon other frequencies.
  •  

  • Tell Entercom management to consider whether or not the talent it has on staff now really is the best they can do.

If Entercom can’t use its six radio licenses in New Orleans to more responsibly serve the community, it should be required to turn them over to citizen groups that positively have an interest in content that better serves their needs. And that goes for every other commercial broadcaster in the city!

WWL: Ask for Todd Manessas, 593-6376 (leave a message if he doesn’t answer)

Entercom: 866-490-3153

The Times-Picayune: letters@timespicayune.com

Related:

How corporate control kills media democracy

Posted in Democracy, Failure is not an option, Katrina Dissidents, Media Democracy, Neighborhood Preservation, New Orleans, Rebuild New Orleans | 5 Comments »

Got neighborhoods?

Posted by schroeder915 on November 5, 2006

urbaninstitute_gotneighborhoods_sm.gif

A graphic produced by the New Orleans-based Urban Conservancy.

Will our neighborhoods be saved? The level of investment in rebuilding the infrastructure of our neighborhoods will in large part determine how liveable they are in the future. So who should be allowed to make those decisions, and when will planners finally get down to the business of determining what the projects are, rather than continuing to poll us for how we feel, generally, about levees, hospitals, and schools?

The perspective of two Treme residents on the first Unified New Orleans Plan Community Congress was posted yesterday on the Community Gumbo site.

In his role as the Executive Director of the Tipitina’s Foundation, Bill Taylor is a strong advocate for preserving New Orleans neighborhoods as purveyors of New Orleans’ musical culture. Tipitina’s is hosting a fundraiser Monday night to benefit New Orleans musicians.

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Posted in Historic Preservation, Neighborhood Preservation, New Orleans Music, Rebuild New Orleans, Unified New Orleans Plan | Leave a Comment »