Archive for January, 2007

I was perusing YouTube and happened across this footage of the 17th Street Canal breach and the nine firefighters who witnessed it…

The Cos comes back to John McDonogh.
Cosby visits New Orleans school
USA Today

MySpace page for Kiwanza Mackie, innocent bystander in a fatal Jan. 29 shooting in Terrytown.
U cOuld thinK whaT u ThiNk BuT i KnOw WhAt I kNoW

A “people driven plan”
Plan calls for $14 billion in spending on New Orleans recovery
South Mississippi Sun-Herald

- Ashley Morris, who has renamed “Fuck-da-Eagles girl” as “Our Passionate Waif,” is pointing visitors to a Maxim photo shoot featuring said waif. Whose real name is Heather. Not that I’ll ever call her that.

- Make sure to check out the (so far) three-part series by Metroblogger Laureen Lentz concerning the ongoing de-evolution of the 1300 block of Magazine St. I could attempt to describe the situation but that wouldn’t do it justice. Understand though, that “Bonkersman” lives there, as does his “partner.”

- Cheers to Bart who attended the Senate field hearing, “Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: Outstanding Need, Slow Progress” yesterday and punched in his notes via cell phone.

At least they were honest…

So the line-up was released and here is my must-see-if-I-have-enough-money list…

Gillian Welch
T-Bone Burnett
Jill Scott
The Killer
Irma Thomas
Van Morrison
Lucinda Williams
Shannon McNally
Trombone Shorty
Dirty Dozen
NewBirth Brass Band
Theresa Andersson
Hot 8
Morning 40
The Jazz Vipers

And because every yang deserves a yin (or is it the other way around?) … here’s some acts you won’t find me in the crowd for …

Rod Stewart
Counting Crows
Brad Paisley
New Edition

Also, I was perusing the acts and the name Alexa Ray Joel popped out at me. Is this the demon child of Billy and his Uptown Girl? Didn’t even know she went the music route. I just assumed she would go the model route. Well, I went to her MySpace page made the deduction that a girl can’t go the model route when she is the spitting image of Billy Joel. Whoa! Hey!

Tom Ashbrook of Boston’s NPR recently did a show on New Orleans recovery.
New Orleans Report Card
On Point

Speaking of NPR, here’s Andrei Codrescu on Louisiana’s smoking ban.
No Smoking in Paris, Dublin – and New Orleans?
Poet On Call

Rounding out the NPR trifecta, here we are on All Things Considered after (George) Bush’s State of the Union
Bush’s State of the Union Omits State of Louisiana
All Things Considered


Who ISN’T going to notice this motherfucker wandering the streets of New Orleans? Looks like he used part of that nose for bait! God damn!

I can’t believe the ole chisel and bedsheets still works.

Anyway, be on the lookout…

Inmate escapes from Orleans Parish Prison

Update: They got him. On the WB no less.

I’m still proud of our guys and this Saints team will still be remembered as the best ever.

So far.

We could talk about things we could have done differently but none of that will remove the fact that the Bears were better today. I’m very proud of the team and I am proud of the effort they put towards winning throughout the year. It wasn’t our time obviously.

I am ecstatic about what this young team has accomplished and I am looking forward to more seasons from this admirable and exciting bunch of guys.

Now on to more important matters.

Like Mardi Gras. :)

From the New York Times on Jan. 19, 2007.

Political leaders, worried about the loss of clout and a Congressional seat, press for people to return, but a smaller New Orleans may not be bad, some economists say. Most of those who have not returned — 175,000, by Mr. Stonecipher’s count — are very poor, and can be more easily absorbed in places with vibrant job markets, they say.

Large-scale concentrations of deep poverty — as was the case in New Orleans before the storm — are inherently harmful to cities. The smaller New Orleans is almost certain to wind up with a far higher percentage of its population working than before Hurricane Katrina.

Barbara Bush commenting on evacuees after Katrina, Sept. 5, 2005.

“Almost everyone I’ve talked to says, ‘We’re gonna move to Houston.’ What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas… Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality, and so many of the people in the arenas here, you know, were underprivileged anyway. This is working very well for them.”

Full Times article is below…

New Orleans of Future May Stay Half Its Old Size

I saw this ad on Craigslist this morning and couldn’t help but wonder about the state of the professional class here in New Orleans. The “yuppies” if you will.

PHP Web Developer Position

Now, PHP is not a highly advanced language of Web programming but, it’s not something one can fake by tinkering around with Dreamweaver either. It takes at least a fundamental understanding of programming and some application of it to be able to state you can do it in a professional setting. It takes at the very least a grasp of code and its use in making the Web go.

The ad also asks for knowledge of CSS and MYSQL, so that’s two more programming languages the applicant needs to have mastered. These are also not overly complex, but they aren’t exactly something your average geek on the street can pick up all by their lonesome either. To have mastered all three of these would put someone in a pretty slim percentile of the workforce. It’s not quantum physics but, I could probably walk out my door right now and talk to the first 500 people I saw and I wouldn’t find a single one who knows all three.

That said, the employer is also asking that an “extensive” look into the applicant’s previous work will be required before anyone is hired (even though it also states previous experience isn’t required).

Then it states that a “non compete” will be required along with a Non-disclosure agreement that will need to be completed.

Now, all this is perfectly reasonable for an employer to request in order to protect their business and ensure they hire the right candidate for the job. They need to ensure that they don’t waste their time on an applicant who isn’t fully on board. I respect that.

But the pay rate for the job?

$8 – $12 an hour. Depending on experience.

It also states that the position is full or part-time but it is listed at Craigslist as a part-time position.

Let’s say for the sake of argument that the most ideal candidate applies for and is accepted into the position at the top rate of $12. They also relent and give him or her a full 40 hours a week. We won’t even discuss the part time / $10 an hour applicants because, as we will see at the end of this commentary, they are sunk.

So $12 an hour at 40 hours a week. That’s $1920 a month.

- $345 for taxes

- $800 for an 1 bedroom apartment in Riverbend (right down the street from the employer). You could also say $800 for a mortgage if this enterprising professional wanted to buy a home in the 100K – 125K range. (Mine is $1150)

- $400 for a car payment and the insane insurance rates we are forced to pay in Orleans Parish.

- $150 for heating and cooling give or take a hundred dollars in the fall and spring but putting it back in the summer and winter. I am low-balling here I know.

- $60 for gas

- $40 for Sewage and Water Board

- $225 for food (Mine is $350)
- $100

Let’s say for the sake of argument that this young professional agrees to live in a flophouse for $500. That would give him or her an extra $300 to spend a month. We take away the $100 he or she is already down for food and that leaves us with $200 for everything else.

Now, being a Web programmer, for his job he or she MUST have an internet connection right? So let’s take off $30 a month (mine is $40) for that. Leaving $170.

$170 spare change a month. That’s without cable. Without a cell phone. Without eating in a restaurant or seeing Rebirth at the Maple Leaf or paying for parking in the Quarter or having a drink at The Spotted Cat.

And kids? Forget it. If the applicant is a single parent with this job, they are buried. They will never see the light of day.

And this is the BEST CASE SCENARIO this employer has to offer. What if the person is accepted at a lower rate of pay? What if they don’t receive 40 hours a week? How much is the insurance they will receive after 6 months?

And don’t forget the no compete clause. Even if another employer recognizes their skill and offers them a job with better pay, they will be legally bound to decline it. By accepting this job they are forced into a rate of pay that is unbalanced with what the cost of living is in the area.

It’s enough to drive someone into the projects isn’t it?