Friday, July 13, 2007

Stories I am reading right now...

1. Taco trucks. I will be dining at one of these on my next visit. I don't know why I haven't yet.
They now dot the landscape in New Orleans and neighboring Jefferson Parish. Their regular customers are the Hispanic laborers who have migrated here to rebuild homes, but they've also built a following among local residents.
The rules that the Jefferson Parish council has imposed are ridiculous. I particularly like this rationale:

Thomas Capella, chairman of the Jefferson Parish Council, defends the new rules, saying, "Everybody is restricted, not just the Spanish food carts. What was happening is that people were camping out on vacant property and basically becoming a restaurant or cafe."

Some carts also pose health and safety concerns, says Louis Congemi, a Jefferson Parish councilman. "I wouldn't personally eat at one," Congemi says.

George Ketry, a New Orleans cab driver, finds the carts "can be an eyesore." But his bigger worry, he says, is the "cleanliness of the food."

Have any of these people eaten at a Popeye's before? And speaking of eyesores - have they driven down Veterans or past a Daquiris and Cream?

What other "food carts" have you ever seen in Metairie? They are targeting people who are working hard to make an honest living. Why do you need to mess with them?

Brian, at, has more righteous indignation on this.

2. Foti to investigate Jordan. Go get 'em. And Shelly Midura is demanding he resign for letting the quintuple murder suspect go. He had a year to find some evidence other than one eyewitness, and he didn't. I think that the DA should be one of the most important offices in the new New Orleans. There is no way that we should go back to the way that things were before Katrina. We have a chance to do things right, and incompetence and bumbling cannot and will not be tolerated. I don't necessarily like Charles Foti either for his pursuing of charges against Dr. Pou, but I hope he tears Eddie Jordan a new one for this idiocy (my emphasis):
Although Jordan said that his office's investigators made concerted efforts to find the witness, coming up empty-handed, she was quickly found this week by NOPD homicide detectives who got her address out of the case file. Riley on Wednesday said he wanted the district attorney to contact him as well as the police homicide unit, when he is getting ready to dismiss murder charges.
Says Midura:
"An elected official's legitimacy and moral authority to govern is derived from the consent of the governed," Midura wrote in the letter, which specifically referred to the Anderson case. "I no longer believe you have the consent and support from the public required to perform your duties adequately."

3. Come Visit New Orleans. Thanks, MSNBC and John Frenaye, but don't lie to people about the state of the city (my emphasis):
Sadly, tourists have been slow to return to New Orleans. Discouraged by the slow recovery and exaggerated crime rates, tourists think about visiting and then decide, "Maybe next year." And that's too bad, because tourism is to New Orleans what oxygen is to you or me. Oxygen allows us to breathe easy; in fact, it gives us life. Right now, New Orleans is still breathing, but without its beloved tourists, it is a city with an asthma problem.
If we have the highest crime rate in the country, how could it be exaggerated? It is what it is, and until we resolve the problems in the criminal justice system (and education system but that's not what this is about right now), crime will be rampant.

4. Why is Ray Nagin raising campaign funds in Kansas City?

“I’m getting a lot of encouragement” to seek a higher office, Nagin said.

Nagin has held fund-raisers in other cities, such as Philadelphia and Chicago. In March, he raised about $200,000 at a $2,500-per-couple fundraiser at a New Orleans casino hotel, bringing his war chest to about $500,000, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

Although companies that stand to get some business in the New Orleans recovery donated to Nagin in Kansas City and elsewhere, Nagin said there is no real correlation.

“You have to competitively bid,” Nagin said.

No, you don't. Come on, Mr. Nagin. Who are you kidding? You are taking money from people to do work in New Orleans. Just admit it. By saying this:
"We are on the cusp of probably (being) the largest build site in the world,” Nagin said. “It’s going to be the place to be.”
You pretty much do.

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