Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Scuzzbucket of the Week

public high school principal who posted the names of two boys on a list of students believed to be couples, revealing their relationship to their parents as well as other students and teachers, violated the students’ constitutional right to freedom of association, the American Civil Liberties Union charged Tuesday. …

Of the couples gathered, and displayed on the educator’s desk, homo-partners Andrew and Nicholas received special attention, especially when Beasley - or Beastly - approached Nicholas’ mother and essentially outed him. The principal also told the woman that she disapproved of such behaviors. And that’s hardly the worst of it…

The honor student [Nicholas] underwent further humiliation, in addition to verbal harassment, when taken out of the running for a class trip to New Orleans related to rebuilding efforts, as a risk to the school’s image; Nicholas was told that there were fears he’d embarrass the school by engaging in “inappropriate behavior.”

This website offers the email address of said prinicpal

Here's the ACLU's report

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Farmer's Market in Slidell

For those local citizens who have longed for a true farmer’s market on this side of the lake, take heart: the Camellia City Market opened in Slidell’s Griffith Park Saturday, April 26th .

“This has been a dream of mine forever,” said Mary Dubuisson of STARC Cleaners. “I’m just beside myself that it’s finally happening.”


Here are pictures from the first Farmer's Market. Surprisingly, no produce was there:

There were fresh herbs,

Hot tamales....

Doggie Snacks....

Wonderful Mediterranean food

Tasty Italian fare...

Fresh Honey....

Crawfish Etouffe....

and live music...

I think it was a great turnout and look forward to seeing this Saturday morning market grow and thrive, especially since Katrina took Slidell's only outlet for fresh produce and dairy products, Cap's.

After nearly three years, I don't think Cap's will be opening up, despite the
promises of this sign.

Here's the background of the birth of this market:

Mary Dubuisson was one of a group of interested residents who first approached Slidell Mayor Ben Morris in 2002 with a plan for starting the market. The idea never quite materialized, however, and various circumstances forced it into limbo for a while.

Then that same group of people turned up in Leadership Northshore 2008. Sponsored by the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce, the program divides participants into several small committees, each of which is required to stage an event that has an impact on the community.

The mission of the market made it a natural fit.

“We want it to be an economic stimulus for Olde Towne, but also to generate revenue for the city at large,” said Capt. Kevin Foltz of the Slidell Police Department. “We also intend at some point to donate our profits back to charitable organizations in the community.”

The group’s main issues are mental health and prevention of childhood obesity, which is one reason the park, with its playground and gym equipment, ties in well with that theme. Eventually they hope to add senior citizens’ issues to the program, and Dubuisson is working on getting discount vouchers for seniors to use at the market.

Foltz said they don’t know how long it may take to start realizing enough profit to make regular donations, but at some point the group expects to have a grant application process in hand.

As for potential economic impact, Foltz cited research showing that more than 80 percent of those who shop at outdoor markets also spend money in the surrounding area. That’s a statistic that should be music to the ears of many established Olde Towne businesses, as well as those that are new or returning, such as the Victorian Tea Room on Carey Street.

In order to be a true farmer’s market, only homegrown or home-produced consumables may be sold.

“It can’t be something like birdhouses,” said Foltz. “But say someone has a great recipe for spaghetti sauce that they make and bottle themselves, or grows their own flowers and vegetables, those things are perfect.”

At last count, 12 vendors had signed up for the market, with at least half a dozen more in the application process. Booths are $20 per week for a 12-foot by 12-foot booth. By paying in advance for four weeks, vendors can also receive a discounted price of $15 per week. A table and two chairs will be provided, but vendors are encouraged to bring their own canopy.

Modeling the project after the Crescent City Farmer’s Market in New Orleans, the group is also looking for local chefs and entertainers to participate. Volunteers are also needed to sell cold drinks and coffee and to staff the information booth.

The project has the full backing of the Slidell City Council, which awarded a $5,000 grant last fall toward the market’s startup. Many others have stepped forward to contribute, such as Creative Trophy, which donated nametags to the group.

Other members of the group are David Achary, Cheri Webster, Julie Watson, Michelle Partridge, Ann Mannella, Dana Fatic and Dinah Dyer.

Dubuisson noted the level of support and cooperation from the community that the project has received.

“Whether they own property in Olde Towne or they just like to spend time down there, people are excited about this because they understand that now is the time to work together,” she said.

Webster agreed and cited what has become an unofficial motto for the group.

“All these things are happening because people are working together,” said Webster, executive director of the Mental Health Association of St. Tammany. “It can’t happen by one person working alone.”

The market will be open each Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and an official grand opening and ribbon cutting is set for June 7. For more information call 640-8291.

Monday, April 28, 2008

What a Maroon

Bill Clinton - in a speech supposedly for his shrew who is running for president - recently talked about Bill Clinton in the small town of Lock Haven (pop. 9,000), hours away from Pittsburgh or Philadelphia.

. . . . I am working on rebuilding the Katrina area in New Orleans. . . .

Boy Bill, that's sure a big job!!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

This guy's got a problem

Fred Radtke, aka "the gray ghost". Who does he have in his pocket?
From New Orleans City Business Website

On April 19 a customer walked into Mojo Coffee House on Magazine Street and told employee Alicia Adams there was a strange man outside painting the side of the building.

Adams stepped outside and saw a white van parked across the street with several men standing in front of it staring at her. She looked to her left and that’s when she saw him, a tall, stocky man wearing dark sunglasses.

Adams recognized the man immediately. It was Fred Radtke, the self-appointed scourge of graffiti.

Adams said Radtke didn’t pay any attention to her. He walked across the street, grabbed another roller out of his van, walked back across the street and began to paint over markings on a telephone pole.

Adams, 24, said she asked Radtke to “please don’t paint on our private property.” His response has left her shaken and afraid for her own safety.

Adams said Radtke verbally attacked her with the most offensive of obscenities, letting her know that he could care less what she thought and was going to do whatever he wanted.

“I swear to God, I’ve been doing this for 10 years and in that time I’ve never cursed at a woman or a girl,” Radtke said. “She was the one yelling and screaming at me. ”

Radtke said he has never painted the Mojo building because the coffee house staff, who he accuses of being sympathetic to the graffiti artists, constantly harass him.

“Usually when I go to take out graffiti near that coffee shop I bring a police escort so I don’t get intimidated,” Radtke said. “If I’m taking out graffiti across the street, they walk over to us and start taking my picture. They do it all the time, which is why I need police escorts. ”
“He was yelling and screaming. He said that he never touched our building and that the 'little bitch' was lying.”

But when Estevez arrived at Mojo on April 19 just an hour after Radtke left, he said there was a large splotch of gray paint on the side of the building that had never been there before.

“I could still smell the primer paint.”

This person has a serious self image issue. He sees himself as the saviour of New Orleans' grafitti problem.

He has to have something on someone in New Orleans politics.

Mayor C. Ray Nagin, New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Warren Riley, the Louisiana State Police, the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI have praised his work.

But some property owners question what separates Radtke from the vandals he is fighting.

The NOPD, however, has no intention of charging Radtke with the defacing of public or private property and praises his efforts in reducing crime and improving the city’s quality of life.

“What he’s doing is work that the city would be doing itself provided we had the resources and manpower,” said NOPD spokesman Sgt. Joe Narcisse. “He’s covering up graffiti and if the city had a team to do that it would do so. He’s not doing anything that we aren’t asking him to do.”•

More at

Friday, April 25, 2008

How do some people sleep at night?

From the WWL TV website (which includes the video), A contractor hired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has apparently filled the expansion joint (or opening) between the floodwalls) with newspaper.

When confronted, the contractor blamed Washington for the substandard work.

“He basically told me when Congress sent down the money, it would be repaired the proper way.”

Ercon Corporation, based in Lafayette, Louisiana, had a contract to do the almost $2 million of work to raise and repair the floodwall under the Paris Road bridge.
Eyewitness News contacted the president of Ercon Corporation by phone and e-mail. He didn't respond to our repeated requests for a comment on this story. Further, our investigation revealed Ercon Corporation is not even licensed by the state's board for contractors. The Corps of Engineers says as long as the federal government pays for the work, it does not prevent them from hiring an unlicensed Louisiana company.

Schroeder has some interesting opinions on this subject

Celcus chimes in.....

More at Library Chronicles and YRHT.

The Corps will now repair the wall .

After initially telling Eyewitness News a Lafayette based company did the work on those joints, the corps now says the work was done by laborers hired by the corps.

"Stuffing newspaper in that joint should not have been done," Bedey said. "In the very near future we will repair all three joints and put the proper backing next to the waterstop."

Bedey reiterated the findings of the report last night that the newspaper would cause no structural damage to the wall.


Thanks to Lee Zurik

Scuzzbucket Part Deux

self titled "intellectual" Thomas Brewton

In his latest blustering article,
in which our own Dambala
responds in great fashion , he shares his intellectual pretension regarding the state of New Orleans as follows:

Why does much of New Orleans still look as if the 2005 devastation of Hurricane Katrina had occurred just a few weeks ago?
Huge areas of New Orleans still are wastelands. New Orleans's liberal-progressive-socialist Senator Mary Landrieu has grabbed far more than her share of Congressional pork. Hundreds of millions of Federal dollars spent for rehabilitation have produced far too little beneficial result. People were without electric power for months; the police department contained more thieves than honest law enforcers; drug-dealing and prostitution remain major enterprises; and the city still retains its crown as the nation's murder capital. One of the city's few "legitimate" businesses is casino gambling.
City and state administrations have yet to coordinate rebuilding plans, as politicians fight over who gets what share of the spoils. The best that the city's Mayor Nagin can do is to demand that the Democratic-socialist Party presidential candidates pledge to send even more pork to New Orleans.
What accounts for this dismal record?
The answer is simple. New Orleans abandoned God and personal moral responsibility, turning instead to worshipping the atheistic, secular political state. That secular god has failed miserably, notoriously so in the aftermath of Katrina.

Here's the rest of his diatribe.

Feel free to comment on his website.

Lord, I wish Ashley were alive to rip this mook apart.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Scuzzbucket of the Week

From The Baltimore Sun dot com:

The Rev. John Hagee, the one who told National Public Radio some time back that Hurricane Katrina was God's way of punishing the city of New Orleans for celebrating homosexuality, was asked again this week if he stands by that judgment.

On the radio, conservative talk show host Dennis Prager asked Hagee about it, and the Center for American Progress is only too happy today to report what Hagee, one of Sen. John McCain's supporters, had to say in response. (McCain has said that he does not agree with everything Hagee stands for, but hasn't renounced his endorsement.)

"What happened in New Orleans looked like the curse of God,'' Hagee told Prager. "In time, if New Orleans recovers and becomes the pristine city it can become, it may in time be called a blessing. But at this time it's called a curse.''

A gay pride parade had been planned in the city, Hagee explained. "In the case of New Orleans, their plan to have that homosexual rally was sin. But it never happened. The rally never happened.''

But, Prager asked, "In the case of New Orleans, you do feel that God's hand was in it because of a sinful city?

"That it was a city that was planning a sinful conduct,'' said Hagee. "Yes.''

Prager apparently never asked why the coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi got blasted in the bargain. And Hagee didn't explain. Hear the tape at

thanks to adrastos for the heads up.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Nope, still not okay

Nearly 1,000 days since hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans, the city is far from being "okay".

George Bush - during his visit here for the North American Summit - proved once again how uninformed he really is.

Prytania Waterline spells it all out for the vacant minded "leader".

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


this just in
The man accused of killing NOPD Officer Nicola Cotton can't competently assist in his own defense and must be sent to a state mental hospital for treatment, a Criminal District Court judge ordered Tuesday.

Bernel Johnson, 44, will be sent to the state forensic mental hospital in East Feliciana Parish, where doctors will evaluate him and attempt to improve his psychiatric condition enough for him to stand trial in the first-degree murder of Cotton.

Judge Julian Parker ordered that Johnson be "immediately" transferred to the hospital after the testimony of three specialists, who all concluded that Johnson suffers from a psychiatric disorder that currently impairs his ability to stand trial.

Charles Vosburg, a forensic psychologist, and Dr. Michelle Garriga, a forensic psychiatrist, said they tried to interview Johnson on Tuesday morning, but found him largely unwilling to answer questions. But, based on the answers he did give, and his extensive history of mental illness, both experts testified that he needed treatment before he could assist in his own defense.

"His concentration is poor; his impulse control is poor," Vosburg said.

Johnson previously has been diagnosed as having either schizoaffective disorder or paranoid schizophrenia, Garriga said.

Prosecutor Mary Glass repeatedly questioned both experts about whether Johnson is possibly "malingering," or faking the extent of his illness in order to avoid trial.

Vosburg acknowledged that some of Johnson's refusal to answer questions is a conscious choice, but added that part of his stubbornness also seemed tied to his mental illness.

I don't think so, this man is playing the system, here's some background gathered by Frank Donze and Gwen Filosa of the Times Picayune:
Three weeks before he.....killed a New Orleans police officer, Bernel Johnson, whose family described him as a paranoid schizophrenic, was forcibly committed to a mental institution by the New Orleans coroner's office after he created a disturbance at a local bank.

"It was clear to me at that time that he was suffering from a psychotic illness," said Dr. Jeffrey Rouse, the deputy psychiatric coroner who saw Johnson that day and ordered the commitment, which allows a medical institution to hold a person against his or her will for up to 15 days.

Yet the institution, which the coroner could not name because of medical privacy laws, released Johnson days later, an episode experts said underscores severe shortages in acute mental health care in Louisiana, even for potentially violent patients.

Johnson's family said the release fits a disturbing pattern they have battled for years, in failed attempts to get the legal and medical systems to commit their relative to long-term, even permanent care.

His family wanted to help Johnson -- but they also feared him, after several outbursts in which he threatened violence against family members and others, and once shot himself in the chest.

The family's repeated attempts to get Johnson into long-term mental health treatment only set off his short fuse, said his sister, Michelle Johnson. Once in 2007, while living in a psychiatric care facility in eastern New Orleans, Johnson vowed violence against his sister.

On Jan. 4, before Cotton had her fatal run-in with Johnson, other officers had responded to the bank where Johnson had the outburst that led to his brief stay in a mental health facility.

"The responding units saw he was a gentleman who needed acute mental health care," Rouse said.
Johnson's family had never heard of the January incident until told by a reporter.

"The state protects his rights," Michelle Johnson said. "That's the problem. He is an independent adult. We can't access any of his records."

At some point after Rouse ordered his commitment, Johnson was transferred to an inpatient mental health facility, Rouse said. He would soon return to familiar haunts in Central City, a fact that hardly surprised his family, though they had not even been aware of his latest commitment.

As he bounced among mental health facilities, jail and the life of a tortured vagrant, Johnson became skilled at working within the social service bureaucracy to keep himself from getting the care he needed.

"Eventually, he learned that he could briefly comply with therapy and take his medications," his sister said. "Then he would get out and enter a group home. He would soon be out on the street abusing drugs and alcohol."

Johnson's longest stay in a mental care facility lasted nine months, his family said. He was released from Southeast Hospital in February 2007, Michelle Johnson said.

In July of that year, Johnson threatened to kill his sister, and she reported the threat to local authorities in LaPlace. A doctor and social worker persuaded her not to press charges, she said. But Johnson then also threatened the doctor and social worker, when they visited him in an effort to get him medical care.

Johnson ended up in Meadowcrest rather than jail, his sister said, although she can't say how long the hospital kept him there.

At this point, his family pushed for a judge to commit him permanently. The family went to civil court in New Orleans, she said, and paid attorney fees.

"I wrote the judge a two-page letter asking that he help," Michelle Johnson said. "The judge said he would take it into consideration and advisement. A few weeks later, my brother was out." Records of those proceedings are not public record, Civil District Court officials said Tuesday.

Family members most recently saw Johnson the day after Christmas. His sister said she dropped him off in Central City, near the train station and not far from the scene of Monday's fatal shooting. When Cotton ran into him a month later, she apparently had no inkling of his explosive temperament. She radioed dispatch with a "code 4," indicating she had the situation under control, and didn't need backup.

Normally, the NOPD requires a pair of two-officer cars plus a ranking officer to be dispatched to any report of a mentally unstable person. "The big challenge with policing is the big unknown," Livaccari said. "This guy just went sideways on her."

The only way to determine the extent of Johnson's illness and restore his ability to assist with his defense is to put him in a hospital setting where he will be evaluated by both security staff and medical professionals at all times, Vosburg said. The staff will also treat Johnson, with the hopes of making him competent for trial, he said.

Happy Earth Day

Monday, April 21, 2008

monday evening rant

I'm pissed off about a bunch of things tonite. In memory of Ashley Morris, I will try to let off steam

Photo from Humid Haney's Dirty Coast, where you can buy the sticker

Big Oil:

thanks for taking away my vacation this year. I'll be "a tourist in my own backyard", which may turn out for the better. Virginia IS too far to drive, isn't it?

George Bush:

You fucktard. There's too much I want to rant about you. You suck.

Upper Mississippi Valley:

thanks for the shit you've sent downriver to us.

My immediate future

To those 20 protesters on Poydras this morning

Get a job, you spoiled little shits!

to the pimple faced piece of crap kid in N.C. planning to blow up your classmates

to American Idol bimbo

to the folks who agreed to those stupid balloon mortgages


Your website is so bad, so slow, so much behind high school websites. Hire some
real techies to help you become the news website this area needs.


you are a shrew who can't even control your own husband. Why should I ask you to run my country, bi-atch?

there's more, but I need to go eat dinner.

bedtime is 9pm for those of us up at 4.

Scuzzbucket of the Week

Wayne Andrews from street-people dot com.
In Andrews' postings on his Web site he refers to "street people" as "cockroaches, human sucker fish and parasites."

He describes a homeless man huddled and freezing on a snowy street as a human "ice sculpture.

By exposing the faces and stories of the street dwellers, Andrews said he hoped to shame both politicians and citizens alike into taking action to ensure that the street never has to serve as someone's home again.

And so he is in New Orleans hoping to help the city's homeless the same way he claims to have helped the homeless of Memphis.

Reaction from blogger Alan Gutierrez is here

here's the rest of the story

Thanks, Katrina

Another sad story of how Katrina
changed the lives of so many

This link features an interview with volunteers who knew Alvin Thomas

"Back from Katrina exile, man lived alone and died alone...."

weekend photos

click on photos for larger versions

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Crawfish Saturday

Saturday (April 19th) was the 5th annual Crawfish Cookoff in Slidell, benefitting the Hospice Foundation of the South .

The weather was perfect and the crawfish was plentiful and mostly delicious. There were fifty teams competing for the title of best crawfish. Here are a few shots my hubby took:
(click on pix for full-sized version)

One of the bands that played was Four Unplugged , who have played all of the Crawfish Fests and have come a long way since 2003.

they've added a sax player and an excellent female vocalist.

the large-ish crowd enjoyed themselves and the music