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Corps of Engineers concludes $10.3 billion, 98-mile-long Morganza to the Gulf levee is 'economically justified' |

The Army Corps of Engineers has concluded that construction of a 98-mile-long, $10.3 billion Morganza to the Gulf hurricane levee system that will protect Houma and surrounding communities from storm surges “is economically justified, environmentally acceptable and engineeringly sound.”

The conclusions are contained in a recent proposed design report/environmental impact statement released by Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, chief of engineers for the corps. The report contains minor changes from a version released in January by New Orleans corps officials.

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New Orleans Musicians' Clinic blood drive |

Two enormous bloodmobiles — one in neon chartreuse, the other, well, blood-red — stretched down Frenchmen Street from the Apple Barrel to the Spotted Cat May 22. The event was called "Frenchmen Street: Roll Up Your Sleeves," and it was a replacement blood drive for the 19 victims of the Mother's Day second-line shooting in the 7th Ward — a shooting that had occurred seven blocks away down Frenchmen Street May 12.

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High end homes in New Orleans are hot properties | WWL

Extremely low interest rates are one reason home prices in the New Orleans area are on the rise. And, high-end properties appear to be extremely hot items...

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Barber Laboratories: Termites, Roaches and Rats, Oh My! | New Orleans Voices

Linda Auld – also known as the "bug lady" – is the owner of Barber Laboratories. Linda's grandfather, Ernest Barber, started the business in 1921 as Barber Entomological Laboratories. Because of New Orleans' warm climate, we have more than our share of vermin. Linda gives us some insight into three of our most common pests: termites, roaches and rats...

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Beyond the beignets: New Orleans’ modern food movement | Lonely Planet

New Orleans is a food city, no question; it always has been. No offense to those hearty regional faves – gumbo, jambalaya and the ubiquitous beignets – but the association has long been one of over-indulgence rather than variety and refinement. The good news: a number of the city’s recently opened establishments are now breaking with convention. Championing a global outlook and a love for regional produce, NOLA’s new crop of inventive chefs are serving up crisp interpretations of local staples, and doing so with mouthwatering results.

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Welcoming the Dalai Lama to New Orleans, a City Still Rebuilding | Huffington Post

From a talk given at Temple Sinai in New Orleans on May 9, 2013. This is part one in a series.

The Dalai Lama has come to New Orleans. If I were to speak with him, this is what I might say.

Your Holiness, you are coming to New Orleans at a time of some optimism, some hope. Eight years ago, after Katrina, there was some concern we might not survive as a city. Many of us had lost everything, our homes, our community our relatives and friends, and most of all our trust in the large institutions and government we thought should have protected us. The levees broke and so did our hearts, and out in the country there were many dark voices who said we had no right to exist, to continue as a city. We might have lost all faith in each other, but somehow we did not. In the first place, from all over, there was a tremendous outpouring of love and help, of compassion. There was a new influx of young people with energy and hope. We have not exactly triumphed, but we have rebuilt much of our city, our schools...

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New Orleans CVB Honored in NTA's Distinct Dozen Awards | Travel Agent

The National Tour Association (NTA) has awarded New Orleans with two honors at their Second Annual Distinct Dozen Awards. The awards, recognizing product quality and partnership, are distributed based on votes by NTA tour operators.

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Bayou Saint John Marsh Creation Project | Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation

Most of the bayou is within the levee system around New Orleans, with a flood gate where it meets Lake Pontchartrain. In the spring of 2013, the Orleans Levee District will dredge a channel from the flood gate to the lake to improve water flow.  The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation will beneficially use some of the dredged sediment to create a half acre of wetland along the banks.

Read more via Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation

Can Star Power Make New Orleans' Food Deserts Bloom? | NPR

Troy Henry (from left), Jim Hatchett and Wendell Pierce, co-owners of Sterling Farms grocery store, meet at the store's soft launch on March 21. Pierce, an actor, gained fame through his starring roles in David Simon's The Wire and Treme. David Grunfeld/The Times-Picayune/Landov

Plenty of celebrities leverage their star power to raise awareness of complicated food issues. Some of the biggest names include Michelle Obama, Jamie Oliver, Prince Charles and Paul McCartney.

Down in New Orleans, actor Wendell Pierce, who stars in David Simon's Treme and, previously, The Wire, has been taking on food insecurity in low-income communities with brand new convenience stores. Pierce has received plenty of attention for his efforts and appeared this week on NPR's Tell Me More to talk about the opening of the first grocery store in his New Orleans-based Sterling Farms chain earlier this spring.

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"Cajun" Bills Debated | KATC

Cajun pride is the focus of several bills that Acadiana lawmakers are backing. From culture to French language, the bills are aimed at showing the world what's unique about Acadiana.

Senator Fred Mills is proposing legislation that would allow drivers to put "I'm Cajun" or "I'm Creole" on their driver's license.
"We have a bill right now that on your driver's license you could basically put "I'm a Cajun" and the proceeds would go to CODOFIL, and it's a permissive bill it would be only if you want to do it. But it would be a proud way to support CODOFIL, say "I'm a Cajun," and promote our heritage," (R) Senator Fred Mills (district 22) said.
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Police: 2nd suspect arrested in New Orleans Mother's Day parade shooting | CBS News

A second suspect has been arrested in the shooting that injured 20 people at a parade on Mother's Day, police said Thursday afternoon.

Shawn Scott, 24, was arrested Thursday, police Chief Ronal Serpas said. He is the brother of 19-year-old Akein Scott, who was arrested Wednesday night in the shooting...

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Three Timeless New Orleans Cocktails | Garden & Gun

Cedric Angeles

Mix some history with these Crescent City classics. Belly up to your home bar and try one of these timeless New Orleans cocktails:

  • The Sazerac
  • Ramos Gin Fizz
  • Pimm's Cup

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Squabble over New Orleans eatery goes to court | NBCNews

Brennan's, a New Orleans restaurant that famously invented the Bananas Foster dessert six decades ago, is more recently known for a long-running family clash over ownership of the French Quarter eatery.
Infighting among relatives of the restaurant's late founder, Owen Edward Brennan, flared up last month when a shareholder meeting led to a standoff inside the restaurant. Police were called to intervene. The heated confrontation ended with a temporary truce, but the tangled family dispute is heading to court.

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Asian Pacific American Society Festival | Audubon Zoo

On Saturday, May 25, 2013, the Audubon Nature Institute and the Asian Pacific American Society will partner once again in hosting The Asian Heritage Festival.

The day long event will feature live entertainment; hand-made crafts from India, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and other Asian countries; internationally themed displays; and authentic Asian dishes. Visitors of all ages will enjoy this colorful celebration of Asian pride, partnership and progress...

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Manhunt underway for suspect in Mother's Day shooting | WWL

On Tuesday morning, a massive manhunt was underway for the suspect in Sunday's second line shooting. Read more via WWL

The 19 Coolest Small Businesses In New Orleans | Business Insider

New Orleans is a hugely popular tourist destination for its food, music, history and Mardi Gras.
The city's economy took a big hit after Hurricane Katrina devastated the cityscape in 2005. But since then New Orleans has rebuilt and reinvented itself. From startups to restaurants and bars, several very cool small businesses have sprouted up...

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Your guide to American Craft Beer Week in New Orleans | Gambit

American Craft Beer Week kicks off Monday, we're starting off things early with a craft beer pub crawl tomorrow, May 11. At "FestivALES," $24 gets you 20 beer tastings (and if you can stand more, you can buy extra tickets). There will be 30 local and craft beers available.

In 2006, the Brewers Association’s recognition of American Beer Month was refocused into American Craft Beer Week, a weeklong coordinated effort timed to kick off the busy summer craft beer season. ACBW provides a manageable length of time for brewers, distributors, retailers and consumers to devote to celebrating America’s small and independent craft brewers. This week is a time to recognize craft brewers as integral parts of their local communities and their success in reshaping how beer is seen in the U.S. today.

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'Top Chef': Season 11 heading to New Orleans | Entertainment Weekly (blog

Bravo Media’s Top Chef, in partnership with the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation and the Louisiana Office of Tourism, are pleased to announce that the new season of the Emmy and James Beard Award-winning show will take place in New Orleans. The vibrant food scene of New Orleans will be a welcome addition in the 11th season of the series...

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Louisiana levee plan concerns Mississippi leaders | Daily Comet

Mississippi Republican Sen. Thad Cochran has proposed amendments to a federal water resources bill to protect coastal areas from flooding or storm surge threats that might result from a new flood control proposal for Louisiana.

Cochran's proposals would generally require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to certify that that new flood control projects designed to protect the New Orleans region wouldn't be harmful to coastal Mississippi.

Read more via Daily Comet

A Look Back At Jazz Fest, Where Ages Were Made | A Blog Supreme NPR Jazz

Allen Toussaint performs during the 2013 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Music Festival. He would also play a small club after the festival finished for the day. Rick Diamond/Getty Images
Some music festivals are known for certain specific things; others are known for a broad assortment. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is known for everything. The city's arms are just that wide.

Every performer is welcome. This year, singer Patti Smith held a crowd spellbound in the mud just as easily as Billy Joel lifted his audience off dry ground. Jazz stylist Diane Reeves sang a Fleetwood Mac song on the first weekend just as compellingly as Fleetwood Mac sang its own songs the following weekend. And artists across nearly all of the stages played Allen Toussaint songs — including Toussaint himself.

Read more via NPR Jazz

Mayor kayoes Head's food truck ordinance | Gambit Magazine

Following last month's New Orleans City Council passage of an ordinance — nearly a year in the marking — that redrafted the city's decades-old mobile vending (aka food truck) laws, Mayor Mitch Landrieu vetoed the measure May 1. Landrieu said he feared the ordinance violates the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

  Landrieu wrote that even the ordinance's supporters have expressed its unconstitutionality, including its author, Councilwoman-At-Large Stacy Head, who voted in its favor yet also spoke against several last-minute amendments. As written, the ordinance would open 75 additional food truck permits, increase the amount of time food trucks can operate (from a previous 45-minute rule), require trucks to operate within 300 feet of a restroom and make trucks park at least 200 feet from brick-and-mortar restaurants...

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Whole Foods calls North Broad Street location 'perfect' |

Mark Dixon, president of the southwest region for Whole Foods Market, said North Broad Street is the perfect location for a new store and hopes to continue expansion in the New Orleans market in the coming years. The national grocery chain announced in February that it will open a new store by December in the former home of Robert's Fresh Market at the intersection of Broad and Bienville streets.

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New Orleans Jazz Fest Comes Full Circle With Its Mission | Forbes

The building in New Orleans’ Treme area will be
transformed into a state-of-the-art music education center.

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, its foundation by the same name announced plans that will bring its mission full circle, 43 years after inception. At the announcement Friday morning, foundation leaders and board members revealed that their new education and community center in the New Orleans Treme area, merely blocks away from the festival’s original site, will be named in honor of founder George Wein and his late wife and business partner, Joyce.

The George and Joyce Wein Jazz and Heritage Center will become the permanent home of its Don “Moose” Jamison Heritage School of Music, a free educational program that was founded in 1990 to educate children in the community about the fundamentals of jazz performance and theory. For the past 13 years, however, the program has been operating from Dillard University classrooms on Saturday mornings.

Read more via Forbes

Rain brings Jazz Fest business boom to some Mid-City stores | WWL

Thursday's unyielding rainstorms had Jazz Festers trying to stay dry. Many searched for the right gear and gave local stores a boost in business. While some Jazz Festers threw on ponchos, garbage bags, umbrellas and hats to fight the rain, others chose to brave the elements without much help...


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Waterproofing Jazz Fest: Don't let the rain spoil your fun |

Photo Credit: Kathy Anderson / Times-Picayune

This story was originally printed in The Times-Picayune in April 2009. We've posted it here, so this year's Jazz Fest goers are prepared for possible rain.
No lightning, no problem. In fact, there's the bonus of smaller crowds. It might not make the festival happy, and we know it's a hardship for the vendors. On the other hand, nobody who easily gets a front-and-center spot at a main stage after a deluge is complaining about the up-close-and-personal view. Better than watching from 200 yards away on the jumbo video screen.

So here's what most fest goers learned for past rain experiences at Jazz Fest...

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New Orleans weather forecast: Jazz Fest | AccuWeather

On Thursday through Saturday, the heaviest showers and thunderstorms are likely to target southern Louisiana, southern Alabama and southern Mississippi...

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Arriving to Mid-City by boat to do the Boogaloo | Tri Parish Times

What began as a one-day event to help restore a broken city and promote local artists has blossomed into a free weekend celebration of New Orleans culture and the strides the city has made since the summer of 2005. The event, hosted by the Mothership Foundation, began as a small project after Hurricane Katrina with big hopes of contributing to the restoration of the damaged city.

Read more via Tri Parish Times

Fleetwood Mac to perform earlier as Jazz Fest tweaks start times | WWL

Jazz Fest officials have slightly altered the start times two days the second weekend.
Some of the changes: Fleetwood Mac will start at 4:40 p.m., moving up the start time 30 minutes and lengthing the band's set. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue will start 10 minutes earlier, at 5:35 p.m., and Aaron Neville will start 15 minutes earlier, at 5:45 p.m., on Sunday...

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Past Lives: Historic New Orleans Brewery Hopping Again as Apartments | Curbed NOLA

Photo: Falstaff Apartments and Dorgenois Lofts
New Orleanians probably don't know what a Falstaff beer tastes like, but they know where it was once made. For 60 years, an iconic, 11-story Falstaff sign has topped the brewer's one-time home in the Mid-City area. Now, three decades after Falstaff shuttered its New Orleans operation, the former brewery has helped turn around its depleted surroundings in its new role as residences...

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Popeyes Founder's Kin Seek Elegant Memorial Statue Involving Speedboat | Gawker

At long last, a little chicken-fried class may be coming to roost in the New Orleans metropolitan area. Some descendants of Popeyes Chicken founder Al Copeland are hoping to commission a tasteful memorial statue of their patriarch in a local park in Metairie, Louisiana. That's "tasteful" not as in "The national World War II memorial is understated and tasteful," but as in "Mmm, this Popeyes Bonafide® fried chicken sure is taste-ful and also featured in this garish memorial statue."

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New Orleans in The Top 12 American Boomtowns | Bloomberg

Photograph by Gerald Herbert/AP Photo

The Bloomberg news service has listed New Orleans among its "Top 12 American Boomtowns," citing the city's population recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

"The area is growing as it rebuilds from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita," the article says. "Tourism is booming, and the New Orleans area gained more residents than any other in the U.S. from 2007 to 2011. The population rose to 1.2 million in 2012."

Read more via Bloomberg

Retail is 'Hot as a Pistol' in New Orleans | My New Orleans


Among the “big deal” announcements are plans by Swedish fashion retailer H&M to open its first Louisiana store soon in the former Hard Rock Cafe space in the French Quarter. The H&M news came shortly before big national shoe retailer DSW Inc. announced the opening of a new store in the Elmwood Shopping Center.

On top of those openings, local shoppers soon will have access to one of the country’s biggest retailers when Costco Wholesale Corp., whose annual sales top $60 billion worldwide, opens at the site of the former Carrollton Shopping Center this fall.

Read more via My New Orleans

Food Is Half The Pleasure At The 2013 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival | The New Orleans Menu

The food at the Jazz Festival is exactly as good as the music. In exactly the same way.

A long-held belief among people who have festivalled every year for decades is that the most memorable music is from the most obscure acts on the smallest, most remote stages. Even with the coming of extremely big names at the JazzFest, this remains valid.

Jazz Festival FoodIt's also true of the food. Almost none of the food vendors are chefs or restaurateurs. Most of the food is prepared by cooks whose main business is appearing at other festivals. Some of them have no food involvement outside the Jazz Festival...

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