Monthly Archives: October 2010
“Fred Radtke and I in a show together. Like two feuding brothers. Proceeds from the sale of either piece go to an art scholarship as requested by Radtke. When they contacted him and he said he’d do it, he would only do it if the piece was going to be for sale and that the proceeds went to an arts scholarship. So, they contacted me to see what my opinion was and if I wanted to put a piece in. I was floored. And I think it’s admirable of him to do it. So, I told them that I’d put a piece in if the same stipulation applied…that the piece would be for sale and that it would go to the art scholarship that was picked by either Radtke or whomever chose it.” ~ReX Dingler*
The UK art exhibit 100sqft 5, New Orleans edition, debuts Saturday night, October 23rd as part of “Arts After Dark” at ArtEgg Studios, 1001 South Broad Street from 6:30pm – 10:30pm. According to ArtEggs Studio manager Ashley Boudreaux in today’s Lagniappe, Fred Radtke, aka The Grey Ghost, will be participating in the show. Apparently, someone ironically suggested that unclaimed squares in the exhibit be “greyed” out , referring to Mr. Radtke’s years of indiscriminately painting cement colored paint over graffiti, murals and street art in the city and engaging ReX Dingler in a prolonged “graffiti war”. Ms. Bourgeois contacted him about participating in the show and was “absolutely floored and touched” when he agreed. “Floored” I get, “touched” – not so much.
The meeting of ReX and The Grey Ghost will definitely add a layer of interest to the “Arts After Dark” open house for locals familiar with the past history of these two. In the spirit of good artsmanship, ReX has shared the Lagniappe story on his FaceBook page and Twitter today. ReX’s contribution to the show is the art pictured above but, as of this writing, Fred Radtke’s contribution remains unknown.
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*Rex Dingler is a New Orleans native who believes that the will of the people is the force of life & that philosophy follows into his artwork. Heralded as the street artist who founded NoLA Rising, a project that delivered hope across New Orleans in post-Katrina months, Rex quickly spread his message of renewal, rebirth and faith to over 30 countries. Rex has exhibited in New York, Miami, Tel Aviv and New Orleans and has been working to promote a mural arts program in Greater New Orleans. Rex’s street art roots have most recently been prominently mentioned in Untitled II: The Beautiful Renaissance; an international street art book published in London. He has been the subject of debate on numerous websites in New Orleans, New York and abroad, most notably in the Village Voice and CultureBot where they deemed him the leader of the largest contemporary arts movement in the American South. His works have appeared in every type of media; details of which can be found in the publications: The Times-Picayune, The Gambit, City Business, Antigravity Culture Magazine, Where Y’at, The Oregonian, CultureBot, Preservation in Print, The Trumpet, The Village Voice, MTV and local television stations WDSU and WWL.
TribeCon 2010 is coming up on October 28 & 29 (next week!) at City Park in conjunction with VooDoo Fest. What is Tribecon? It’s a two day conference right here in New Orleans dedicated to encouraging online and offline community building and spotlights speakers who are walking the walk and are excited to share their experiences with us. Speakers include Baratunde Thurston of The Onion, Ben Huh, CEO of Pet Holdings, Inc, Micki Krimmel, founder of NeighborGoods.net and many more exciting and knowledgable personalities actively engaged in community building.
About this years conference in TribeCon’s own words:
“This year’s theme, Creating Campfires, examines the proverbial “campfires” that we build, ignite and rally around – online and offline. Inspired by the joy New Orleans felt with the Saints winning the Superbowl, and the 2010 study ranking Louisiana the #1 happiest state nationwide, this year’s theme examines positivity, fun, & joy in communities. You’ll learn about what it takes to create, measure and maintain these communities from world-class experts who have built successful careers and organizations doing just that.”
I asked Megan Hargroder, Community Manager of Launch Pad New Orleans and TribeCon organizer, “How can TribeCon help those of us who are not as tech savvy as most of your speakers and participants?” Her answer:
“This year we are all about “takeaways” – making sure that participants leave with truly applicable lessons and information about creating communities online as well as some more basic things such as how to price your services for freelancers and entrepreneurs and how to create successful e-newsletter campaigns.”
Sounds good to me!
2010 is the second year for TribeCon. Check out this video to learn about it’s birth here in New Orleans:
TribeCon incorporates a day-of-service this year too. On October 23 TribeCon will host a build with the NERDOrleans group from San Francisco hosted by and benefiting the St. Bernard Project.
On Friday, October 22 (tomorrow!) TribeCon present Delivering Happiness to New Orleans with Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos. Register here for this free event.
TribeCon tickets can be purchased here.
This video is a production – a very good production – of Pablo Neruda’s poem Standard Oil Co. If the oilspill catastrophe of the Deepwater Horizon last April (6 months ago today) affected you in any way, I think you’ll find this quite provocative. Even if you don’t like poetry.
The winner of the French Quarter Bag courtesy of Bayou Salvage is Shercole! Congratulations, Shercole.
In celebration of Kerry’s birthday and our fist giveaway, I’m adding a little lagniappe: a second drawing. Maura is the winner of a NOLAFemmes tee shirt – congrats!
Thanks to Bayou Salvage and all of our participants for a very successful giveaway!
Do not meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are sneaky subtle and will urinate on your computer.
Two blogs that I read regularly do a Caturday post so I thought I’d throw my cats into the fray and do one myself. Thanks to The Political Cat and On Transmigration for the inspiration! Oh, and BTW, you should be reading these blogs too.
In Honor of her birthday Bayou Salvage is sponsoring a giveaway!
Perfect for a few pounds of this season’s Satusmas, or school books, or pints of gin. Whatever your poison, this bag can handle it. Strong super soft and sturdy 100% repurposed burlap jute blend. Lined in cream or light colored canvas as available and secured with velcro. Measures 14 wide by 16 tall. 19 inch strap. Handmade with care in the city that care forgot. Bayoufabulous!
French Market Bags have:
* Highest quality fabric sourced from eco friendly and/or local purveyors
* Double stitched for strength and durability
* All seams serged to prevent fraying
* Secured with velcro
* Pockets- 2 of them large and roomy!
* Lined in a variety of neutral fabrics as shown. Each is handmade with care and one of a kind
* Dry clean/ spot clean wool & jute totes, machine wash on cool, dry flat for all others.
This gorgeous French Market tote made of burlap and jute can be yours with just a few simple qualifications:
-To enter leave a comment on this post. Winner will be drawn on Tuesday, October 19th.
-For additional entries, follow
this blog (via email subscription option or Networked Blogs option in the sidebar), & mention this Giveaway on your blog or on Twitter, and let me know you did in a separate comment.
-If you already follow me, mention that and I will add an additional entry.
Good luck, everyone!
To learn more about Bayou Salvage read our interview with creator Kerry Fitts.
“Sen. Vitter knows very well that undocumented immigrants are not eligible for public benefits like welfare, food stamps, Social Security or Medicaid. They never have been,” said Susan Weishar, a migration specialist at the Loyola University’s Jesuit Social Research Institute. “It is poisonous to the political discourse that Sen. Vitter continues to scapegoat people who came to Louisiana to help us rebuild our homes and businesses after Katrina.” -The Times Picayune, Oct. 8,2010
Politics is a nasty business which is why I try to stay out of it publicly. That’s not to be confused with apathy – I keep up with the local and national scene and I have my opinions – I just choose not to flail around in the muck via this blog. There are plenty of politically experienced bloggers out there that have that domain covered so I leave it to them. This post isn’t about my political opinion of David Vitter or Charles Melancon; instead, this post is about what I, and many others, perceive as manipulative lying on a massive scale that appears to be escalating expeditiously. About a week ago I had my first viewing of David Vitter’s TV commercial portraying Hispanic illegal aliens climbing through a hole in a chain link fence and being welcomed by this scene: and it made my skin crawl. Adding to this despicable affront is the fact that he shares the opening scene with Sharron Angle’s equally racist ad against Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada. It’s apparent to anyone with a brain that Senator Vitter and others are attempting to manipulate a certain segment of the population through their prejudices and fears of illegals, particularly Hispanic illegals, as is evident by the growing numbers of these blatantly racist ads. Maybe Senator Vitter thinks this is what he needs to do to steer the attention of his conservative base away from his own questionable behavior. Whatever the reason, this kind of ad is racist garbage and I would call out anyone who condones it, regardless of political affiliation. This goes way beyond politics into the realm of just plain old fashioned hatred. I think the American people are sick and tired of it and it’s past time we let these politicians know with our voices as well as our votes.
For those readers outside of Louisiana I’ve embedded the offending video below.
By strange luck or sheer coincidence, I was recently presented with opportunities to attend speaking appearances by several key players in New Orleans’ criminal justice system. I offer my summaries and impressions of the presentations by each of these officials for your consideration, starting with the District Attorney.
While Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon A. Cannizzaro, Jr., was sworn into office during January 2009, the emerging cooperative relationship between DA Cannizzaro and the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) is noteworthy. Cannizzaro recently made a presentation to the NOPD Citizens Police Academy, where he spoke with surprising candor (smiling and joking were witnessed).
In cases where criminal charges are made against an accused individual, it is asserted that a violation of the Louisiana Criminal Code has occurred and that the entire community of the State of Louisiana has been aggrieved. The role of the District Attorney’s Office is not investigatory; the NOPD is the entity that performs and reports the results of investigations. Based on the NOPD’s investigation and report, the DA’s Office either accepts or declines to accept the charges against accused individuals. For the DA’s Office, the clock starts to tick when the accused has been jailed; the office then has a period of 60 to 90 days’ time to make a decision regarding acceptance of the case (depending on the nature of the offense and charges against the accused).
Cannizzaro highlighted recent improvements in regard to the relationship between the Orleans Parish DA’s Office and the NOPD. While the quality of the reports submitted by the NOPD has improved significantly, Cannizzaro stated, “I want the NOPD to do it even better than they’re doing now.” When Cannizzaro was sworn into office, he estimated that there was “a 50% chance your case would be thrown out [by the DA's Office] based upon the lack of a prompt NOPD investigation”; the DA’s Office is actively working with the NOPD to expedite receipt of the NOPD’s report to the DA’s Office within a period of three- to five-days’ time. Cannizzaro then compared his office to Drew Brees and the NOPD to the New Orleans Saints’ defensive line.
Additionally, as of February 2009, an Assistant District Attorney (ADA) and a counselor are being dispatched from the DA’s Office to all murder investigation scenes in Orleans Parish. The ADA works with the NOPD investigating officers and detectives to help ensure the NOPD’s report to the DA’s Office is complete and accurate. The counselors hand out business cards to observers in the community, which has been instrumental in the identification of potential witnesses. While witnesses have historically been reluctant to talk to the NOPD, these counselors are providing an avenue for witnesses to come forward in a different manner. DA Cannizzaro says the message his office has been getting across to the NOPD is “We’re here to work with you” and that the results have been beneficial, as an average of 85% of the charges being presented by the NOPD to the DA’s Office are being accepted at this time.
As a result of these efforts, Cannizzaro noted that “More violent offenders were convicted in 2009 than in the years 2008 and 2007 combined.” the DA also spoke of the public perception that juries in Orleans Parish are reluctant to convict; his unvarnished observation with regard to this belief was: “Excuse me, but that’s bullshit.” He sees the aggressive efforts of his office as a contributing factor in changing this cultural perception via the corresponding rate of obtaining convictions.
DA Cannizzaro spoke openly about the impact of the illegal drug trade within Orleans Parish. “If we solve the drug problem, we solve the crime problem.” Cannizzaro estimates that approximately 90% of the criminal activity occurring in Orleans Parish is drug-related in one manner or another. When asked about the recent criminalization of the synthetic marijuana substance commonly known as “mojo” or “spice,” Cannizzaro’s response was surprising: “I’m not advocating this, but I’d rather kids would be using ‘mojo’ instead of cocaine or heroin.”
The District Attorney’s Office has moved an estimated 1,100 marijuana cases from the Criminal Court docket to Municipal Court. This measure to free up the Criminal Court docket has resulted in criminal cases being resolved much more quickly. For first-time marijuana offenses, the typical judgment involves a fine, drug-testing, and probation. Currently, however, he notes that “the law is such that a municipal statute does not exist regarding marijuana offenses”; efforts have been initiated to make a municipal ordinance that is identical to the existing state statute.
When asked his opinion regarding electronic monitoring of offenders, DA Cannizzaro stated that electronic monitoring cannot be administered by a private company that has no force of law or power to arrest monitored persons violating the terms of the monitoring arrangement. In Jefferson Parish, instances of automatic violations (monitored person is determined to be outside of the approved range of travel or is determined to be active at a time that is not permitted) are accepted as automatic probable cause; this is not presently true in Orleans Parish. If a violation occurs, a judge’s order is required to pick up the monitored individual; Cannizzaro acknowledged it “can be hard to get at 3:00 AM, and the violator will need to be re-charged as well.” Cannizzaro indicated that, because of these complicating factors, enforcement for electronic monitoring in Orleans Parish will be moving into the jurisdiction and responsibilities of the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office.
DA Cannizzaro is not in favor of the proposed 5,000 bed correctional facility; his opinion on the subject was that it would amount to “essentially warehousing people, and it won’t resolve the crime problem.” He reassured people in attendance that the approval of this proposed facility will be determined by voters, as it “will go to a public vote.” Instead of increasing the capacity for incarceration, Cannizzaro advocates that our prison facilities “need to provide GED and job training opportunities, as well as substance abuse counseling requirements” as appropriate.
The District Attorney appeared to be far more concerned about/invested in the Youth Studies Center issue, indicating that such a facility would be “in the best interests of the child[ren].” He noted with discernible dismay that “We are no closer to constructing a modern facility for the children than we were five years ago.”
Website for the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office: http://www.cityofno.com/pg-102-1-da-home-page.aspx
“One thing is certain: there is always a bowl of rice in our fridge. My greens live on the bottom shelf: beet greens, collards, Swiss chard and mustard greens. Washed, drained, chopped up and sautéed with garlic, olive oil and a sometimes a little onion, they often accompany the daily khep & chicken or bandie & beef. Assane will eat a bite of it, but no more.”
My online buddy, Maura, has a very interesting blog, The MoxieBee, that I want to share with you. I’ve only recently begun reading because I only recently met her through Twitter where she found me and immediately became a great supporter of NOLAFemmes. Her post, A Fridge As Cultural Bridge, 2002, about food and her relationship with her West African husband is absolutely wonderful and fascinating. I want to pass this link along to y’all and you must go read if you enjoy reading about other cultures and food. And, hey, we live in New Orleans, right? You can’t live here and not love all cultures and all food!
“He laughs easily. Except when he broods, or calls home to Senegal, where he lived for most of his life, or Guinea, where he was born. Guinea means woman in Susu, the language that is his mother tongue; therefore, he tells me Guinean men make the best husbands. He scoffs when I fail to immediately accept this peculiar logic. “