Wednesday, January 31, 2007
WEST in Wired
Formed in 2004, Wind Energy Systems Technology (WEST) is on track to commercialize offshore wind power well ahead of more established and better funded contenders with greener credentials. At $240 million and 150 megawatts of peak output—enough to power 45,000 homes—the project is modest. But the eyes of the alt-energy world are upon it. "WEST may not be in the mainstream, but they're definitely serious," says Walt Musial at the National Wind Technology Center in Colorado. "They might actually do it."
Tommy Lee Jones as Dave Robicheaux
Acadiana winners in OffBeat's Best of the Beat awards
The results of the annual Best of the Beat awards from New Orleans' OffBeat magazine are out, and Acadiana musicians and businesses fared very well in the 2007 poll. The biggest surprises: Eunice's KBON 101.1 FM placed ahead of perennial winner WWOZ 90.7 FM of New Orleans in the Best Radio Station category, and Flat Town Records bested New Orleans labels like Basin Street Records in the Best Record Label category.
And congratulations to Independent photo editor Terri Fensel, who won in the Best Music Photographer category.
The list of Acadiana winners follows; for a complete list, click here.
Best Cajun Band or Performer
Best Cajun Album
Best Zydeco Band or Performer
Best Zydeco Album
Best Country/Folk/Roots Rock Album
Best Guitar Player
Best Radio Station
Best Record Label
Best Instrument Store
Best Music Photographer
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
LNG call-in day
This Thursday, Shell will release its profit reports from last quarter, and, as usual, it promises to be gigantic. Environmental and justice groups all over the country are using the occasion to draw attention to Shell's ridiculous abuses. We've already pitched in on an ad that's going to run in English and Dutch (Shell HQ) media markets, but the most important aspect is the homespun goodness.
The group is organizing a "call-in day" and members of the UL Lafayette group SPEAK plan to be out on campus trying to raise awareness on the issue. Shell is yet to begin construction on the $650 million terminal, which was licensed under a federal fast-track program prior to environmental concerns being raised by the state and several advocacy groups. The license was subsequently challenged in court, with a federal appeals court upholding the license. Of all the proposed offshore LNG importation terminals in the Gulf, Shell's is the largest using the controversial 'open loop' system that has come under fire for the threat it poses to fisheries.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Iberia Parish audit in the mail
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Iberia Parish President to get audit
Pavy & Jerry Lee for Jazz Fest
Jazz Fest announced its 2007 lineup today, with some interesting first-time headliners like ZZ Top and Norah Jones joining Fest vets Dr. John, The Allman Brothers, Bonnie Raitt and hundreds of Louisiana acts. To view the schedule, click here.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Gulf Coast rebuilding and President Bush's State of the Union Address
Updating an earlier post, freshman Democratic Sen. Jim Webb briefly touched on New Orleans (and, by extension, Gulf Coast rebuilding efforts) in the Democratic Party's response to President Bush's State of the Union Address last night:
"Let me simply say that we in the Democratic Party hope that this administration is serious about improving education and healthcare for all Americans, and addressing such domestic priorities as restoring the vitality of New Orleans," Webb said.
It's only one sentence, but maybe it's a start.
Meanwhile, editorials and stories from the likes of The New York Times, The Washington Post and syndicated columnist Eugene Robinson note Bush's omission of New Orleans or the Gulf Coast in his SOTU speech. It's heartening to know that there are national media outlets that do understand the current plight of the Gulf Coast and New Orleans and continue to try and keep it in the national spotlight, but Bush ignoring Katrina (not to mention Rita) in his speech is hardly surprising. The President doesn't want to renew conversation and conjure up images of one of his administration's worst failures. Gov. Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin continue to get rightfully pummeled for their ongoing post-Katrina blunders, but unlike President Bush, they're not in a position where they can shift public focus to Iraq, affordable health care, etc.
For full text of our Louisiana legislators' response to the President's speech and the omission of rebuilding efforts, click here.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Speaking of Louisiana ...
Monday, January 22, 2007
Democrats reviving focus on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast?
But Virginia Sen. Jim Webb sounds like he's ready to re-introduce New Orleans and Louisiana into the national conversation in a big way. As this AP story notes, Webb might use the Democratic rebuttal to tomorrow's State of the Union address to question spending in Iraq and say that rebuilding New Orleans "is a point of national priority."
"If we're putting all this money into Iraq and ignoring New Orleans, then we're doing something wrong," he told reporters during a teleconference.
Webb, who has visited New Orleans post-Katrina, also said the New Orleans devastation "is almost beyond description, but we haven't, as a government, really stepped forward to do anything about it."
Webb is no shrinking violet, so it's going to be interesting to see how strongly he pushes this issue.
Local guitarist and singer C.C. Adcock says members of Lil' Band of Gold will perform with the likes of Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, Art Neville, Irma Thomas, Kermit Ruffins and Jon Cleary. The 12th annual music awards ceremony in New Orleans is presented by OffBeat at the House of Blues on Saturday, Jan. 27. Domino is expected to be in the house for the event. For more information, visit OffBeat's Web site.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Saints joke of the day
Peyton Manning, after living a full life, died. When he got to heaven, God was showing him around. They came to a modest little house with a faded Colts flag in the window.
"This house is yours for eternity, Peyton," said God. "This is very special; not everyone gets a house up here."
Peyton felt special, indeed, and walked up to his house. On his way up the porch, he noticed another house just around the corner. It was a 3-story mansion with a black and gold sidewalk, a 50 foot tall flagpole with an enormous Saints logo flag, and in every window, a New Orleans Saints towel.
Peyton looked at God and said, "God, I'm not trying to be ungrateful, but I have a question. I was an all-pro QB, I hold many NFL records, and I even went to the Hall of Fame."
God said, "So what's your point, Peyton?"
"Well, why does Drew Brees get a better house than me?"
God said, "That's not Drew's house. It's mine."
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
ASO's conflict with the Saints
1 - Frisking everybody who enters (including the orchestra) for contraband electronic devices. Then making sure those folks are evenly distributed throughout the auditorium so that they can share their information with a maximum number of people.
2 - Projecting a streaming play-by-play commentary from espn.com on the side walls.
3 - Stopping between movements to give game updates - which would require [Maestro] Mariusz [Smolij] to wear an earbud to be sure that the information is up to the second.
4 - Substituting "When the Saints Go Marching In" for any part of the program - including the National Anthem.
5 - We definitely need to find ways to convince our audience that our Polish maestro, who also spent several years in Chicago, is not a secret Bears fan. It could get ugly if we don't!
ASO will present 26-year-old virtuoso pianist Alexandre Moutouzkine on Sunday at at 3:00 p.m. at the Heymann Performing Arts Center. The Russian pianist won his first competition at the age of 14 and has gone on to claim top prizes in international competitions in Kharkov, Ukraine, Argentina, Spain, China, Italy and New Orleans. For more information, visit ASO's Web site or call (337) 232-4722. In closing, Garlington had this to offer:
We hope the Saints will be playing again in a couple of weeks, but we may never again have an opportunity to hear this amazing musician.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Improve your French the easy way
Sommelier Nicole Jordan plans to wine and cheese participants through the French regions of Champagne, the Loire valley and Alsace, Burgundy, the Rhône Valley and Bordeaux. The list of wines to be tasted is impressive. Some of the finest houses of Champagne such as Tattinger, Piper Heidsieck and G. H. Mumm will be represented. Beautiful white Burgundies like Gevrey-Chambertin, Chassagne-Montrachet and Meursault are on the list, as well as the wine of the nine popes of Avignon, Châteauneuf du Pape.
The course will be taught in English with French translation and of course French conversation. Speaking French is so much easier with a glass or two of wine under your belt. Class size is limited to 20 people on a first come, first served basis. The course costs $175 for six classes for members of the Alliance Française de Lafayette. Annual membership is $50 for families, $30 for individuals. The class begins on Tuesday, Jan. 23 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Magnolia Beverages. For more information call 262-5810 or check out the website.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Gold and Guns
One of the premier cultural attractions of Memphis, Tennessee is the internationally acclaimed Wonder Series Exhibitions. Each year an exciting subject is chosen for a comprehensive historical exhibition. The Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum is pursuing a similar path.
For more about recent developments at UAM, read the Dec. 27 article "Artistic Differences."
Louisiana Reps weigh in on Iraq
"Before the President makes any decision on the size of American forces in Iraq, he should understand the value that Iraqi troops can provide to secure their own communities," Boustany said in a press release.
In a letter ushered to Bush late last week, the coalition of House Republicans identified 21 trained Iraqi battalions currently stationed in provinces which experience less than one attack per day – troops they say should start being deployed into Baghdad.
"The way to develop mature Iraqi forces is to move all of them into the fight," the letter states. "Mr. President, this requirement of Iraq sending all its battalions into the fight should not be finessed or deflected by the [Iraq Ministry of Defense]. It should be an absolute U.S. requirement, made as it is against the backdrop of the enormous U.S. effort which has brought the new Iraq government into existence."
Many reports say Bush's new plan for Iraq, to be laid out in a speech tomorrow night, will include a call for an immediate surge in U.S. troops. Asked if Boustany was open to the idea of a troop increase, Boustany's press secretary said they will have a comment on the President's plan after it is presented.
In related news, Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu was among a string of Democrats called to the White House last week to discuss Iraq policy. Running counter to many in her party's leadership who are gearing up to challenge Bush, Landrieu said she is open to supporting a troop surge if the President provided a defined mission.
The imaginary crime wave
And as yesterday's Advocate story notes, the Lafayette p.d. and FBI crime statistics for Lafayette released in December were a complete sham:
[Lafayette Interim Police Chief Jim] Craft said the drastic increase is more of a computer problem than a crime problem.
Hopefully they've learned their lesson and will stop inciting fear with sensationalistic quotes about dramatic increases in violent crime.
Monday, January 08, 2007
What's with the name?
I thought it was weird when Pontiac named that mini-van/SUV/station wagon thing the Aztek. But then again, there's always been weird car names.
Friday, January 05, 2007
Audit spurs resignation?
She makes her move in advance of the Iberia Parish Council receiving the results of a legislative audit investigating her boss, Langlinais. The audit was initially requested by Iberia Parish Councilman Bernard Broussard in an April 2006 letter to 16th Judicial District Attorney Phil Haney. Broussard requested Haney's help in dealing with "certain questionable contractual arrangements that have been executed by the Parish President with various contractors over the past few years." According to Haney in the Jan. 4 Daily Iberian, the auditors "interviewed the last person they had to interview (Langlinais). That meant they could be putting the final touches on it hopefully over the holidays. So, it could be getting to the parish council and parish president within 10 days to two weeks."
The specific contract that set the audit in motion was between Langlinais and attorney Shane Romero. Shane Romero is the son of term-limited State Rep. Romo Romero. It is widely speculated that Shane Romero will run for his father's seat in October. Broussard is considered a candidate for Langlinais' seat should the embattled parish president run for re-election this fall. Hebert plans to announce his race for term-limited Craig Romero's District 22 Senate seat soon.
Qualifying is Sept. 4-6; elections will be held Oct. 20.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
We're not just sinking ...
Cain Burdeau, with the Associated Press, writes about a new report by scientists who say that Louisiana isn't just sinking into the Gulf, it's also slipping. But there's no reason to panic.
"People should not be afraid that we're going to fall into the Gulf. That's not going to happen," said Roy Dokka, lead researcher and executive director of the Center for GeoInformatics at Louisiana State University.
The report appeared in the Dec. 2006 edition of Geophysical Research Letters.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Another classic Daily Advertiser front-page blunder
The game is tomorrow night -- Wednesday, Jan. 3. Wonder how many calls The Advertiser received today from LSU fans.