All Things New Orleans

Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

WWNO’s radio magazine: a weekly half-hour of timely news, cultural features, and commentary from all corners of our city. Hosted by Jack Hopke.

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Green Minute
9:56 am
Thu January 30, 2014

The Green Minute: Reduce, Reuse, Repair

An example of DIY repair: Desoldering using a vacuum plunger (blue, right) and a soldering iron (yellow, left).
Credit Mysid

Reduce, reuse and recycle — or the three Rs — are well known as the pathway to green. But there is an R that has been routinely left out. The R for REPAIR.

Unlike our grandparents, we regularly replace items rather than opting to fix things. While their motto was, “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”, we’ve relegated our broken stuff to the trash pile.

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2014 Winter Storm
10:29 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Sneaux Men Appear All Across Louisiana

Tiny little snowmen appeared all over Louisiana this week. This little fella popped up on the West Bank.
Credit Kristin Kellogg

South Louisiana doesn't see snow very often, so when a winter storm arrives people don't spend all their time stocking up on essentials. This is Louisiana, after all, and many take advantage of the rare opportunity to enjoy the winter weather.

There wasn't much to work with, however, despite systems that swept through the state twice this week, dumping a wintry mix of snow, sleet and ice on cities from Lafayette to Ruston to coastal Mississippi.

Cue the miniature snowman:

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The Reading Life
7:53 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Susan Larson's Snow Day Reading List

The Reading Life's Susan Larson.

The whole region might be encased in ice this week, but there's still time to get to your favorite local bookstore and stock up before the temperature drops and the roads close.

Here are some snow day reading choices perfect for curling up with in front of a roaring fire (or a space heater!).

— Finish up Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series with The Days of Anna Madrigal and pretend you’re in San Francisco, where there is no snow, only an ever-charming and beloved cast of characters.

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Community
5:04 am
Mon January 27, 2014

With New Focus, Episcopal Church Of Louisiana Addressing A History Of Racism

Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori is the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.
Credit Laine Kaplan-Levenson

The Episcopal Church of Louisiana spent the past year making plans for a new ministry, aiming to address its history of racism, as well as other forms of racism in society.

Last week, the Washington, D.C.-based leader of the Episcopal Church came to New Orleans for a special service. At Christ Church Cathedral, the oldest Episcopal congregation in New Orleans, worshippers committed to racial healing and racial justice. 

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Education
6:36 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Akili Academy Illustrates How New Orleans Teachers Have Changed

Lesley Blouin works with David Phoenix at his desk.
Akili Acadmey

Just after Hurricane Katrina, the entire teaching staff of The Orleans Parish School Board was fired. Last week, a state appeals court ruled that those teachers were denied due process.

As the school system has rebuilt, there’s been a seismic shift in who is teaching in New Orleans — the city-wide pool of teachers looks different, in terms of race, age, how they came to the teaching profession, how long they’ve been teaching, and whether they are “from” New Orleans, or not.

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Food
4:31 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Where Y'Eat: Tradition And Expression In The Land Of The King Cake

Goat cheese and apples fill this king cake from Cake Café & Bakery.
Ian McNulty

As the king cake joins a long line of New Orleans food traditions up for reinterpretation, bakers and shoppers alike have decisions to make.

King cakes used to be easy. You waited — usually — until the start of Carnival season to get one, you argued about your favorites through the season and eventually you’d groan when yet another cake materialized in the office break room. You had one last slice on Fat Tuesday and that was that.

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Notes from New Orleans
2:19 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Is Recess Going Extinct In New Orleans?

Students at Edgar P. Harney elementary school play Duck Duck Goose during one of their supervised recess breaks, organized by Playworks.
Credit Thomas Walsh

Click here to listen to this week's Notes.

It’s probably been a few years since you last attended recess, but you’ll quickly recall it was a welcomed period to escape the four walls of your classroom and just hang out. So it may surprise you to learn about Playworks: a national non-profit that actually organizes recess for kids.

Their New Orleans branch is the subject of this week’s Notes from New Orleans

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Education
8:35 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Music Writing Class: 'It Has R2-D2 Sounds And A Weird Alien Siren'

A 2010 album of Mr. Michael's Music Writing Class, performed with New Orleans students
http://youngaudiences.bandcamp.com/album/ya-young-audiences-raps

When I first moved to New Orleans is 2001, I taught in a pretty rough public high school where I had an almost fatally hard time inspiring the kids to write. The traditional writing lessons and other tricks I knew weren’t getting to the students.

At the time I was doing a lot of writing about music for New Orleans magazines, so I devised for my students a sort of… English class, disguised as a music class. We call it music writing class.

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The Lens
11:50 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Orleans Parish School Board Elects New President

New OPSB President Nolan Marshall, Jr.

The Orleans Parish School Board elected Nolan Marshall, Jr. as it's new President on Tuesday.

Charter schools director Caroline Roemer Shirley says Orleans Parish School Board meetings over the past year have been rocky.

"It was a long year," Shirley said. "I think most people would agree with me, whether they’re part of this board or otherwise, it was a contentious year."

Shirley has seen board members argue over contracts, and the board’s disadvantaged business enterprise program — things critics say don’t have much to do with the kids they serve.

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Education
8:00 am
Tue January 21, 2014

State Court Sides With Louisiana Teachers Fired After Katrina

The water line showed prominently on New Orleans Abramson Senior High School after Katrina. All OPSB teachers were fired within a few months of the flood.
Jason Coleman Creative Commons

Last week a state court of appeals ruled in favor of thousands of teachers who were fired just after Hurricane Katrina.

The court said more than 7,000 teachers were wrongly terminated, denied due legal process, and should have been considered for rehiring as schools reopened. The ruling, if upheld, would award the teachers years in back pay and benefits, though it’s not clear who would pay. The Orleans Parish School Board and the state have the option to appeal.

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