COOLinary New Orleans August 1-31, 2015 | @visitneworleans coolinaryneworleans.com


During the month of August, enjoy 2-3 course lunch menus for $20 or less and 3 course dinner menus at $39 or less  and 3 course brunch menus at $39 or less at over 50 award winning restaurants. Experience cuisine that delights your palate and is an integral part of the history, fabric and culture of New Orleans.

More and more restaurants are signing up every day so be sure to check back often. It’s going to be a delicious summer! Don’t forget to ask for the Chef’s COOLinary Menu.

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17 shocking stats that show how the 1 percent have ruined New Orleans | Salon

When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, 2005, the nation saw tens of thousands of people left behind in New Orleans. Ten years later, it looks like the same people in New Orleans have been left behind again.


The population of New Orleans is noticeably smaller and noticeably whiter. While tens of billions poured into Louisiana, the impact on poor and working people in New Orleans has been minimal. Many of the elderly and the poor, especially poor families with children, never made it back to New Orleans. The poverty rate for children who did made it back remains at disturbingly high pre-Katrina levels, especially for black children. Rents are high and taking a higher percentage of people’s income. The pre-Katrina school system fired all its teachers and professionals and turned itself into the charter experiment capital of the US even while the number of children in public schools has dropped dramatically. Since Katrina, white incomes, which were over twice that of blacks, have risen three times as much as blacks. While not all the numbers below are bad, they do illustrate who has been left behind in the 10 years since Katrina...

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How many new restaurants in New Orleans will survive? | @TPrice504 NOLA.com

Photo by Todd A. Price, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

In 2015 at least 28 restaurants have opened in New Orleans. And we're only halfway through the year.  In 2014, 60 new restaurants opened and only five of them are closed:

That means that 92 percent of 2014's new restaurants have survived.

Academic studies have shown that 26 percent of new restaurants typically close in the first year. By the third year, 59 percent are gone.

Clearly, New Orleans restaurateurs are beating the odds.

Over the past decade, those of us who closely watch restaurants have been amazed by how many have opened and how few have closed.

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Boil water advisory issued for most of New Orleans | WVUE


A precautionary boil water advisory has been issued for most of New Orleans.

The advisory is in effect for the East Bank of New Orleans, according to the Sewerage and Water Board.

Residents in the affected area are advised not to drink, make ice, brush teeth, bathe, shower, prepare or rinse food with tap water unless it has been properly disinfected until further notice.

At 2:55 a.m. this morning, the S&WB Carrollton Water Plant experienced a number of Entergy power surges that resulted in interruptions to the Claiborne and Panola Pumping Stations.

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Three dead, nine injured in movie theater shooting | The Advertiser


Three people were killed and nine wounded when a lone gunman opened fire in a Lafayette movie house Thursday evening.

Lafayette police confirmed shortly before 8 p.m. law enforcement officers responded to a call about an active shooter at the Grand 16 Lafayette at 3141 Johnston St.

Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft confirmed at least three people were killed, including the gunman, who died from a self-inflicted wound.

Two victims were pronounced dead at the scene. Nine were transported to area hospitals, eight by ambulance and one by private party. One victim died at a hospital.

The suspect was described by several witnesses as a white, middle-aged male. State Police said the shooter, whose identity was not released late Thursday, was 58 years old.

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Greater Access to High Speed Internet Coming to New Orleans and Baton Rouge | WhiteHouse.gov

The President announced ConnectHome, a new initiative with communities, the private sector, and federal government to expand high speed broadband to more families across the country. The pilot program is launching in twenty-seven cities and one tribal nation and will initially reach over 275,000 low-income households – and nearly 200,000 children – with the support they need to access the Internet at home. Internet Service Providers, non-profits and the private sector will offer broadband access, technical training, digital literacy programs, and devices for residents in assisted housing units.                                                    
ConnectHome is the next step in the President’s continued efforts to expand high speed broadband to all Americans and builds on his ConnectED initiative that is on track to connect 99 percent of K-12 students to high-speed Internet in their classrooms and libraries over the next five years.  ConnectHome will help ensure that these students still have access to high-speed Internet once they are home.
Since the President took office, the private and public sectors have invested over $260 billion into new broadband infrastructure, and three in four Americans now use broadband at home. Thanks to smart spectrum policies and world-leading technology, fast 4G wireless broadband is now available to over 98 percent of Americans — up from zero percent since 2009.
Despite this progress, a new analysis released today by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA)  illustrates that some Americans are still unable to benefit from high-speed broadband, especially America’s lower-income children.  In fact, while nearly two-thirds of households in the lowest-income quintile own a computer, less than half have a home internet subscription. While many middle-class U.S. students go home to Internet access, allowing them to do research, write papers, and communicate digitally with their teachers and other students, too many lower-income children go unplugged every afternoon when school ends. This “homework gap” runs the risk of widening the achievement gap, denying hardworking students the benefit of a technology-enriched education.  
President Obama is announcing ConnectHome to help close this gap and provide more Americans digital opportunity. 
Specifically, ConnectHome is:
Building regional partnerships:  The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is collaborating with EveryoneOn and US Ignite who worked with private- and public-sector leaders to build local partnerships and gather commitments that will increase access to the Internet for low-income Americans.  These partnerships will bring broadband, technical assistance, and digital literacy training to students living in public and assisted housing across America. Mayors from Boston to Durham, and from Washington, DC to Seattle, have committed to reallocate local funds, leverage local programming, and use regulatory tools to support this initiative and the expansion of broadband access in low-income communities.
  • Twenty-eight communities strong: The President and HUD Secretary Juli├ín Castro announced today that HUD has selected the following twenty-seven cities and one tribal nation to participate in ConnectHome:
Albany, GA; Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Baton Rouge, LA; Boston, MA; Camden, NJ; Choctaw Nation, OK; Cleveland, OH; Denver, CO; Durham, NC; Fresno, CA; Kansas City, MO; Little Rock, AR; Los Angeles, CA; Macon, GA; Memphis, TN; Meriden, CT; Nashville, TN; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Newark, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Rockford, IL; San Antonio, TX; Seattle, WA; Springfield, MA; Tampa, FL; and Washington, DC.
HUD selected these communities through a competitive process that took into account local commitment to expanding broadband opportunities; presence of place-based programs; and other factors to ensure all are well-positioned to deliver on ConnectHome.
  • Helping deliver affordable connectivity: Eight nationwide Internet Service Providers have announced they are partnering with mayors, public housing authorities, non-profit groups, and for-profit entities to bridge the gap in digital access for students living in assisted housing units.  For example:
    • In Google Fiber markets (including the ConnectHome cities of Atlanta, Durham, Kansas City, and Nashville), Google Fiber will offer $0 monthly home Internet service to residents in select public housing authority properties and will partner with community organizations on computer labs and digital literacy programming to bridge the digital divide, especially for families with K-12 students.
    • In select communities of Choctaw Tribal Nation, Cherokee CommunicationsPine Telephone, Suddenlink Communications, and Vyve Broadband will work together to ensure that over 425 of Choctaw’s public housing residents have access to low-cost, high-speed internet.
    • In Seattle, and across its coverage footprint, CenturyLink will make broadband service available to HUD households, via its Internet Basics program, for $9.95 per month for the first year and $14.95 per month for the next four years. 
    • In Macon, Meriden, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans, Cox Communications will offer home Internet service for $9.95 per month to eligible K-12 families residing in public housing authorities.As part of its existing ConnectED commitment, Sprint will work with HUD and the ConnectHome program to make its free wireless broadband Internet access service program available to eligible K-12 students living in public housing. This builds upon the free mobile broadband service previously committed to low-income students by AT&T and Verizon, for ConnectED.
  • Making internet access more valuable: Skills training is essential to effectively taking advantage of all the Internet offers.  HUD is collaborating with non-profits and the private sector to offer new technical training and digital literacy programs for residents in assisted housing units. 
    • Best Buy will offer HUD residents in select ConnectHome demonstration project cities, including Choctaw Tribal Nation, the computer training and technical support needed to maximize the academic and economic impact of broadband access. Best Buy will also offer afterschool technical training, for free, to students participating in ConnectHome at Best Buy Teen Centers in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York City, San Antonio, and Washington, DC.
    • The James M. Cox Foundation, a Cox Communications-affiliated Foundation, will make 1,500 discounted tablets, pre-loaded with educational software, available for $30 to students and their families participating in ConnectHome, in Macon.
    • GitHub will provide $250,000 to support devices and digital literacy training to HUD residents in ConnectHome cities.
    • College Board, in partnership with Khan Academy, will offer students and families in HUD housing in all ConnectHome communities free, online SAT practice resources, and contribute $200,000 over three years to fund digital literacy and personalized college readiness and planning training in Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, San Antonio, Washington, DC and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
    • 80/20 Foundation will provide $100,000 to fund digital literacy training in San Antonio. 
    • Age of Learning, Inc. will make its ABCmouse.com online early learning curriculum available, for free, to families living in HUD housing in ConnectHome communities.
    • The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) will produce and distribute new educational, children’s, and digital literacy content via participating local PBS stations tailored for ConnectHome participants.
    • The American Library Association will lead a collaboration with local libraries in all the ConnectHome communities to deliver tailored, on-site digital literacy programming and resources to public housing residents. 
    • Boys & Girls Clubs of America will provide digital literacy training for HUD residents in ConnectHome communities that have a Boys & Girls Club, including in Durant, OK, part of Choctaw Tribal Nation. 
    • Southeastern Oklahoma State University and the Durant Independent School District will provide digital literacy courses, for free, to HUD residents in Choctaw Tribal Nation.
  • Ensuring HUD assisted housing integrates broadband: The Department of Housing and Urban Development is also taking major steps to provide communities across the nation tools to improve digital opportunity for its residents. Today, Secretary Castro announced that HUD will: 
  • Begin rulemaking that requires HUD-funded new residential construction and substantial rehabilitation projects to support broadband internet connectivity.
  • Provide communities with the flexibility to spend portions of their Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grants on local broadband initiatives and associated connectivity enhancements, including approximately $150 million dedicated to the current competition.
    • Begin rulemaking to include broadband planning as a component of the Consolidated Planning process, which serves as a framework for a community-wide dialogue to identify housing and municipal development priorities.
    • Supply guidance and share best practices with HUD-funded grantees on how to more effectively utilize HUD funding to support broadband connectivity.
    • Integrate digital literacy programming and access to technology into related initiatives.
  • Supporting Promise Zones: ConnectHome is launching in Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and includes Camden, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Antonio – all of which were designated Promise Zones, where the Administration works in partnership with local leaders in high-poverty communities to achieve their educational and economic goals.  President Obama has also called on Congress to cut taxes on hiring and investment in Promise Zones to attract businesses and create jobs.
Read more via connecthome.hud.gov

New Orleans household count close to pre-Katrina levels | WWL


As we approach the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, there is evidence that the population has rebounded to a point where the city is just a few thousand residents away from match the pre-Katrina levels.

A new report is out today.

According to Allison Plyer of the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, the city is just under 10 percent from a complete recovery.

''The city had about 200,000 households receiving mail (before Katrina), and we now have nearly 182,000... or about 90% percent," said Plyer.

Read more via WWL

Artist’s post-Katrina oil paintings depict the beauty, power of water | New Orleans Advocate


Having grown up in New Orleans, Adrian Deckbar was accustomed to water. She swam in the Florida Gulf on vacations and sat by the lake to watch sunsets in the summer. She ate food drawn from nearby fishing spots and enjoyed leisurely walks along the Mississippi River levee.

Water, to her, represented recreation and beauty and health. But then it became a threat.

Hurricane Katrina was the catalyst. The day before the storm hit, she and her husband left their Uptown house to travel to a cabin they owned in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. They later returned to find her painting studio damaged and the family home in Lakeview covered in what she can only describe as “black slime.” The house owned by her in-laws in Chalmette also was destroyed.

She remembers watching footage on CNN while living in exile. On the screen, day after day, water filled the streets of her city.

Read more via theneworleansadvocate.com