Dirty South Bureau

June 19, 2006

New Orleans projects to be destroyed

Filed under: New Orleans Politics,The Feds — christian @ 12:53 pm

Last week HUD unveiled its largest plans to date to restructure the city of New Orleans by eliminating four of the city’s ten housing projects, St. Bernard, BW Cooper, CJ Pete and Laffite. For the tens of thousands of you folks who used to live there and are trying to come back to New Orleans, sorry, but the feds have decided in their wisdom that the places that you lived for decades need to be redesigned so as to serve you (and, more importantly, some prominent developers and property owners) better. Sorry if this causes any inconvenience, such as being homeless for the next five or six years while we rebuild.

Last week Scott Keller of HUD graced the city of New Orleans with his presence (Alphonse Jackson was apparently too busy) at a particularly high-spiritied city council meeting, which the Dirty South Bureau caught the second half of. Props to City Council newcomer Arnie Feilkow for challenging the arrogance of the federal government’s unilateral decision making process.

meeting 1 2
Scott Keller, Chief of Staff for HUD interview

Of course HUD has everyone’s best interests in mind. But for those of you who are still skeptical, we need only look at the success that River Gardens, the former St. Thomas development, has been- such a success that Alphonse Jackson said in November that River Gardens would be the model for the future of public housing in New Orleans.

Perhaps the best available study of what is really going on with these redevelopments is New Orleanian Brod Bagert jr.’s 2002 master’s thesis on the St. Thomas redevelopment.

That’s right. We don’t warehouse the poor any more- not when we find that those warehouses are sitting on prime real estate. And these “icons of failed federal policy” in Keller’s words, will be going to the wrecking ball to make way for the a newer, whiter, more affluent New Orleans- oh, and one with more big-box superstores.

Meanwhile, a group of former public housing residents is camping on the middle of St. Bernard avenue. DSB had a chance to speak with former St. Bernard resident Pamela Mahogany.

Pamela Mahogany interview

Portions of these interviews were played on Brian Denzer’s Community Gumbo on WTUL- New Orleans Saturday, June 17th, and some of this audio is also available on bayoubuzz.com

June 14, 2006

South Louisiana Shrimpers Struggling with Price Fixing, Rebuilding

Filed under: New Orleans Economy,Other — christian @ 11:52 am

With all the attention on New Orleans (which is deserved) it is easy to forget what neighboring parishes are going through. Yesterday around one hundred shrimpers gathered at the state capitol in Baton Rouge to call for investigation into price fixing on the price of shrimp, which they say is at 1950’s levels. You didn’t hear about this in the local media because by and large they didn’t show up, and FSRN hasn’t taken the story yet.

So in addition to having to repair their homes and deal with the devastation that Katrina and Rita dealt these shrimpers, which are the backbone of the economies in many of rural south Louisiana communities, are having to deal with the economic hardships of having to compete with cheap imported shrimp and potentially price fixing by processors.

My good friend Brian Marks wrote his masters thesis on the economic effects of globalization in the shrimp industry. I talked with him yesterday after our trip to Baton Rouge.

Brian Marks interview

Also on the trip we ran into George Barisich, head of the United Commercial Fishermen’s Association and a board member of Lousiana Shrimp Association, which threw the protest.

George Barisich interview

Also, Brian’s thesis on the impacts of globalization on south Louisiana shrimpers is online as a .pdf

June 5, 2006

New Orleans AK and P-DUB

Filed under: Labor,Lower 9th Ward,Media,New Orleans Politics,Race,The Feds — christian @ 2:28 pm

So, pardon the lack of communication for the last few weeks. Among other projects I’ve had to move shop. I’m still in the Bywater, but fighting the gross housing market down here right now. (see earlier post, Gentrification Gets Personal for the DSB)

The good news: the first demo of New Orleans AK (after Katrina) a weekly radio show on current events and social justice issues in the Crescent City, has come out, and was snatched up by radio station KPFT in Houston, where it will be playing tonight at 7 PM.

New Orleans AK is a collective creation of Public Digital Urban Broadcasters (P-DUB) members Krystal Muhammud, Mayaba Leibenthal, Mikkel Allen-Loper, Christian Roselund and Corlita Mahr. So far this is the first creation of P-DUB, a radical, largely african american (except yours truly) media group.

Contact me at c.roselund@gmail to com to obtain a 128 KBPS copy, or to rebroadcast on your local radio station. Enjoy.

New Orleans AK Part 1 2 3

This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

More information is available on publicdub.com