Levees Not War
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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Campanella’

Rising Tide: Still Standing, Unfatigued, and Enduring

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

RTX poster from RT-FB.bBack now from New Orleans for the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and Rising Tide X—refreshed and still feeling that positive, creative energy and will to survive and rebuild that we felt at our first Rising Tide (the second annual) in 2007.

We shall see whether there will be any more Rising Tides; if not, the ten-year run ends on a high note, and everyone involved has many reasons to be proud and grateful. If RTX does turn out to be the last one—and even if it doesn’t—the organizers, from 2006 to the present, deserve congratulations and gratitude from the people of New Orleans and vicinity and indeed around the United States. Year after year, since the legendary Geek Dinners in the summer of 2006 (pix here and here), the organizers—all volunteers—have worked overtime to arrange interesting panel discussions on subjects that matter: on the environment, local schools, public safety, Louisiana politics and sports, the BP spill, HBO’s Treme, flood protection, and much more. They have brought in such substantial guest speakers as this year’s civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson, historian John M. Barry, Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré, actor and activist Harry Shearer, New Orleans geographer Richard Campanella, and and many more. (Click here for RT history.)

6.2_RisingTidePosterIt shows what a solid public platform Rising Tide has become, that on Saturday, about halfway through the environmental panel, “Category 5 General” Russel Honoré appeared as a surprise guest speaker to join the panel: Anne Rolfes of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter Bob Marshall, and Jonathan Henderson of the Gulf Restoration Network. (General Honoré was RT8’s keynote speaker in 2013.) More about the environmental panel to follow.

Thanks are due also to Xavier University for generously hosting the last five conferences (since 2011), and to all the benefactors who have contributed financially to support the conference; their generosity made it possible to keep the ticket prices low—this last conference was free—and to defray the travel and lodging costs for guest speakers.

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Rising Tides Through the Years

Rising Tide X Is Aug. 29, Tenth Anniversary of Katrina (2015)

Come to Rising Tide 9 in New Orleans on Sept. 13 (2014)

Live-Blogging from Rising Tide 8 in New Orleans (2013)

Rising Tide 8 Update: “Category 5 General” Russel Honoré Is Keynote Speaker (2013)

Rising Tide 7 Is Sat. Sept. 22 at Xavier (2012)

Live-Blogging from Rising Tide 6 (2011)

Live-Blogging from Rising Tide 5 in New Orleans (2010)

Rising Tide III in New Orleans Aug. 22–24: A Conference on the Future of New Orleans (2008)

Making Blogging Sexy: Rising Tide 2 (2007)

Katrina Bloggers Unite! Rising Tide 2 is August 24–26 in New Orleans (2007)

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Rising Tide X illustration by Lance Vargas; Rising Tide I poster by Brad Jensen/Icon Visuals.

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Live-Blogging from Rising Tide 6

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

A conference on the future of New Orleans

Xavier University, New Orleans

Tune in to webcast here. Rising Tide 6 main web site here, and RT6 blog here. Photos here, here, and here.

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Usually we worry that Rising Tide might be disrupted by a hurricane—after all, it’s held each year on the anniversary of Katrina. Ironically, this year, while Hurricane Irene is lashing at the East Coast and New York City is evacating some 250,000 people from low-lying areas, the weather in New Orleans is warm (okay, hot), clear, calm. At the conference some of us are scratching our heads and asking of the millions who live along the East Coast, susceptible as it is to hurricanes, Why do they live there? 

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Dedra Johnson of The G-Bitch Spot Blog Wins 2011 Ashley Award 

Congratulations to Dedra Johnson of The G-Bitch Spot—a blog that doesn’t just have a great name, but shines with clear, independent thinking and sharp, sassy writing—in which “a mad black woman rants about New Orleans, insomnia, teaching, education, and ‘education,’ various -isms and anything involving a bitch, a spot or the letter g.”

4:30 Presentation of the Ashley Award 2011

Presented by Mark Moseley of The Lens and Your Right Hand Thief and Leigh Checkman of Liprap’s Lament.

The Ashley Morris award was established in 2008 to honor and remember the late Dr. Ashley Morris, one of the founding members of Rising Tide and still a guiding spirit. The award is given each year to someone who embodies Ashley’s fierce passionate defense of New Orleans, its people and culture. And the winner is . . . Dedra Johnson (see above).

3:05 Panel Discussion: New Orleans Food: Continuity and Change

Chris DeBarr, chef at Green Goddess, longtime N.O. blogger as “excitable chef”; Alex del Castillo, chef and owner of Taceaux Loceaux; Adolfo Garcia, chef and owner of RioMar, LaBoca, etc.; Rene Louapre, food columnist at Offbeat magazine; and Todd Price, freelance writer.

2:00 David Simon, featured speaker

Creator of HBO’s celebrated TV show Treme, set in post-Katrina New Orleans, and of HBO’s The Wire.

An argument against “standing.” Not clear at first what Simon means by “standing.” Sounds like a synonym for legitimacy, credentials.

Began as a reporter in Baltimore, covering police beat in a mainly African-American neighborhood. As a young reporter it struck me how few reporters would not want to ask questions to which they did not already know the answer. But I would ask anyone anything. Tells the story of a former Pulitzer Prize–winning Herald Tribune reporter who asks so many questions that an Esso executive complained to the editor why did you send this idiot to interview me? He didn’t know anything; I had to explain everything to him.

As I approached New Orleanians to make the show Treme with Eric Overmeyer, I decided to hire local people, and determined to be very deferential to the people in this city who had suffered through such a terrible trauma. There are no rules. Standing is the lamest way of judging quality, authenticity. I don’t believe standing matters.

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Rising Tide 6 Is August 27, So Register Today

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

A Conference on the Future of New Orleans

After a week of economy-strangling legislation in Congress, Wall Street plunges, and a downgrade of the nation’s credit rating, maybe you’re ready for some positive news? The Best Thing Happening—we’ll be there and we can hardly wait—is the 6th annual Rising Tide conference on the future of New Orleans on Sat. Aug. 27 at Xavier University.

Held every year since 2006 on or near the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Rising Tide brings together experts, bloggers, writers, activists, new media peeps and other ordinary folks who care about New Orleans and the Gulf Coast: the culture, the environment, the politics, the food and music, the Saints, and the rebuilding and restoration . . .

This year’s RT, with meeting space generously provided by Xavier University, will be bigger and better than ever: two very interesting keynote speakers—David Simon, creator and executive producer of HBO’s popular New Orleans drama Treme, and the brilliant N.O. geographer and acclaimed author Richard Campanella—plus two simultaneous programs: the panel discussions on one stage, and, for the first time, a Tech School focusing on social media and blogging topics (more below).

Check out the Rising Tide Facebook page and Flickr site, then click here to register.

The panels this year are on Social Media, Social Justice  Louisiana’s Coastal Health, featuring our friend Len Bahr of LaCoastPost and Pulitzer winner Bob Marshall of the Times-Picayune • New Orleans Food Writing and Brass Bands. And, if you want to go to Tech School, you can get hands-on training in social media and blogging, learn advanced WordPress techniques, ways to improve your photography, and the latest in web strategies and online tools.

Two Must-Hear Speakers: Richard Campanella and David Simon

We are big fans of Rich Campanella (right) and his books Bienville’s Dilemma: A Historical Geography of New Orleans, New Orleans Then and Now (with Marina Campanella), and Time and Place in New Orleans. This Brooklyn-born geographer–historian–demographics geek has a rare gift for appreciating and explaining New Orleans’s neighborhoods and demographic changes as well as the city’s cultural riches and complexities. Rich will be speaking on “on the origins of how we’ve come to perceive, delineate, and name New Orleans neighborhoods.” See our write-up of his remarks at a 2009 panel discussion we attended at Loyola University, “What Is New Orleans?”

Fans of the hit HBO show Treme, set in post-Katrina New Orleans, will want to hear producer David Simon (see Salon.com’s interview with him)—also creator of HBO’s The Wire—and should check out the blogs Back of Town, many of whose writers are among the organizers of the Rising Tide conference, and Watching Treme.

Networking, Sharing Ideas, and Making Blogging Sexy

As usual, there will be a festive Friday night warm-up (location TBD), and at the conference Octavia Books will provide a literature table of the panelists’ published works available for purchase. Registration includes breakfast beverages and pastries as well as a tasty lunch prepared by J’anita’s.

“We come together to dispel myths, promote facts, highlight progress and regress, discuss recovery ideas, and promote sound policies at all levels. We aim to be a “real life” demonstration of internet activism as we continue to recover from a massive failure of government on all levels.”

Previous RT venues have been appropriately casual and informal (and much appreciated), but Xavier’s hosting of the event brings Rising Tide up to a more serious and professional level. The organizers are grateful to the university administration and to Bart “Editor B.” Everson of Xavier’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching for arranging the venue.

Past keynote speakers have included Mac McClelland (left), human rights reporter for Mother Jones; actor and filmmaker Harry ShearerJohn M. Barry, author of Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America; and Christopher Cooper and Robert Block, (former) Wall Street Journal correspondents and authors of Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security. Click here for past years’ lineups and panel discussions.

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What Is New Orleans?
Resilient, a Moveable Feast, and Growing, Slowly

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

be-new-orleanian-large
Loyola panel discussion well attended, thought-provoking, encouraging

The moderator and panelists presented some very thoughtful and deeply felt responses to the question “What Is New Orleans” at Loyola’s Nunemaker Auditorium Wednesday night. In his introduction, the moderator, New Orleans novelist John Biguenet reminded the audience that in 2006 Republicans in Congress voted down a resolution that would have declared congressional commitment to rebuilding the Gulf Coast. (Biguenet blogged for the New York Times in 2005 and 2006 about the city’s recovery—check out his strong, clear-voiced pieces—and he is profiled in the Fall 2009 Louisiana Cultural Vistas.)

campanellaIn order of interest, first would be Tulane geographer and demographics whiz Richard Campanella (who actually spoke last), author of the fascinating Bienville’s Dilemma: A Historical Geography of New Orleans. (Buy it. Read it. Then buy copies for your friends who are interested in the city’s history and future.) Campanella—originally from Brooklyn, it turns out—is a sort of geography + demographics geek who makes statistics interesting and brisk-paced so your eyes don’t glaze over. To wit: the city’s population, about 450,000 before Katrina, dropped to nearly zero in Sept. ’05, and is about 340,000 now. The population had risen to 200K on the first anniversary (2006), 300K on the 2nd, and 320K by the 3rd anniversary. From the 2nd anniversary to the present, the population has risen by only 40,000 souls.

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What Is New Orleans? Come Find Out.

Monday, October 19th, 2009

N.O.postcard.midiHow Do You Define a City?

Anybody who is within driving, walking, or biking distance of Loyola University in New Orleans on Wednesday night should think positively about coming to the discussion titled “What Is New Orleans” to hear the thoughts of panelists Richard Campanella (author of Time and Place in New Orleans among other good books), Tulane history professor Larry Powell, and New York Times reporter and N.O. native Susan Saulny, who covered among other subjects the homeless living in tent cities under the Claiborne overpass and around City Hall. The discussion will be moderated by novelist and Loyola professor John Biguenet.

“What Is New Orleans” is hosted by the Center for the Study of New Orleans in Loyola’s College of Social Sciences. Call 504-865-3431 for more information.

The event is free, open to the public.

7:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 21

Nunemaker Auditorium (Monroe Hall), Loyola University

6363 St. Charles Avenue

We’ll be there—hope to see you!

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