Laine Kaplan-Levenson


Laine Kaplan-Levenson is a multimedia producer living in New Orleans. She was the transmedia producer for the interactive documentary project LandofOpportunity, and later the managing editor for Laine was the first Coastal Producer for WWNO's Coastal Desk, and is now the host of TriPod: New Orleans at 300, WWNO's Tricentennial series. Laine's also a producer for the Listening Post, the Moth Storyslam, and runs her own live storytelling event, Bring Your Own. Her work has appeared on MarketplaceHere and Now, the podcast, and more. 

Ways to Connect

The Historic New Orleans Collection

This is the second episode of TriPod: New Orleans at 300. Tri (for the city's three centuries) Pod (for podcast), and Tripod, the tool that steadies an image when you capture something. Tripod moves beyond the familiar themes of New Orleans history to focus on the forgotten, neglected, or surprising. It helps us better understand present and future challenges. This is the story of one man’s family business, part of the Chinese immigrant community, that helped build New Orleans.

A 1726 view of New Orleans from across the Mississippi River.
Jean-Pierre Lassus.

Today we launch our new Tricentennial series, TriPod: New Orleans at 300. Tri (for the city's three centuries) Pod (for podcast), and Tripod, the tool used to steady the image when you’re trying to capture something.

Tripod moves beyond the familiar themes of New Orleans history to focus on forgotten, neglected, or surprising pieces of the city's past, and give us better understanding of present and future challenges.

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, much of the physical damage the storm caused in the city of New Orleans has been repaired. Neighborhoods and communities have been rebuilt. Schools, hospitals, businesses, and restaurants have re-opened.

But as Laine Kaplan-Levenson of WWNO in New Orleans reports, a deeper, invisible wound brought by the storm remains. Thousands of residents, and especially children, were traumatized by the storm and the displacement and struggle that followed.

Louisiana GOHSEP / Wikimedia Commons

Monday, June 8, 2015  marks the deadline to file a claim under the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damages Settlement Program. The four Louisiana claims centers located in Cutoff, Lake Charles, Lafitte and Metairie will be open until midnight tonight.

Herman, Herman & Katz's Steve Herman, co-lead council for the BP trial's plaintiff's steering committee, explained what the deadline means, starting with the difference between this program and the seafood compensation program, for which the deadline to file claims has already passed.

Paul Floro / Army Corps of Engineers

The Army Corps of Engineers held a public meeting to discuss a new project that will add fabric matting and natural grasses to the top of the levees along the lakefront. The design aims to protect from surges caused by a 100-year storm.

The Corps refers to this project as "armoring" the levees. The existing system is defined to withstand a hurricane with a 1 percent chance of occurring any given year: a "100-year storm." This armoring strategy is being put in place in case there’s an even stronger storm that breaches those levees.

Wikimedia Commons

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its Atlantic hurricane outlook during a news conference at City Hall on Wednesday. The report predicted a below-normal storm season. The 2015 forecast looks mild, but Mayor Mitch Landrieu reminded the crowd it only takes one major hurricane. And even though NOAA is generally on par with their predictions, "nobody can guarantee you what’s gonna happen," the mayor says.

Tim McLean

What happens when you put an artist and a scientist in the same boat? The local artist residency ‘A Studio In The Woods’ aimed to find out, with their new fellowship "Flint and Steel: Cross-disciplinary Combustion". It matches artists with Tulane University faculty to explore social and environmental change through art.

Laine Kaplan-Levenson / WWNO

Who's still thinking about Christmas in spring? The New Orleans Department of Sanitation, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Guard. This generation-long partnership comes together for the annual Christmas tree drop. Christmas trees are picked up curbside after the new year, packaged into bundles, and dropped via helicopter into a local wetlands area to build back land mass. The National Guard uses it as a training exercise, and the nearby wildlife refuge Bayou Sauvage gets a coastal restoration project.

Jesse Hardman / WWNO

It's been five years since the 2010 BP oil spill. On the day of the actual anniversary, a march and rally took place in the Central Business District to commemorate the people and places impacted by the spill. Marchers went from Lafayette Square to Jackson Square, dressed in all black to represent the 210 million gallons of oil that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.

Bart Everson / Wikimedia Commons

There have been flash flood warnings for Southeast Louisiana this week. And while areas around town flood, the city of New Orleans is poised to pass a new zoning ordinance that will help with some of that water. But not all of it. 

Between 2-4 inches of rain are expected to fall over the next few days, and that makes it hard to do some basic things. Like get in your car.