Wednesday January 30, 2008, 3:03 PM, By Susan Finch, Staff writer, Times-Picayune

Thousands of homeowners who sued the Army Corps of Engineers over flooding of their property when three New Orleans drainage canal levees failed after Hurricane Katrina are out of luck because federal law makes the agency immune from such complaints, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval's much-anticipated decision follows a mid-August hearing on whether a 1928 federal law immunizing the Corps from being sued over its flood control projects would shortstop the homeowners' class action lawsuit accusing the Corps of negligently designing the floodwalls.

In his 46-page ruling, however, Duval made it clear that the law requires him to dismiss the cases, but that he is not unaware of the hardship caused by that the Corps' actions .

"This story -- fifty years in the making-- is heart-wrenching,'' Duval said.

"Millions of dollars were squandered in building a levee system with respect to these outfall canals which were known to be inadequate by the Corps' own calculations,'' Duval wrote.

"The byzantine funding and appropriation methods for this undertaking were in large part a cause of this failure. It is not within this court's power to address the wrongs committed, the judge said.

"It is hopefully within the citizens of the United States power to address the failures of our laws and agencies,'' Duval said. "If not, it is certain that another tragedy such as this will occur again.''

Do read the comments from some on the Levee Board, too: "Corruption to the bone!"


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by The Times-Picayune

Wednesday January 30, 2008, 7:34 AM

By David Hammer

and Bill Walsh

Staff writers

Ending his presidential bid in the same city he started it 13 months earlier, Democrat John Edwards told a crowd at the Musicians' Village in the 9th Ward today that he is giving up the political chase but not the battle against poverty that had been the theme of his campaign.

"We joined together in this city abandoned by our government and forgotten, but not by us," he told those who gathered in the chilly early afternoon weather. "Someday, one day, the trumpets will play loud in Musicians' Village, where we stand today."

Now we are abandoned by the only decent candidate.

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This looks very good, folks.

Breakthrough: Concentrated Solar Power All Over Southwest US
by David Sassoon - Jan 17th, 2008
* Clean Energy
* Big Business
* Clean Tech Sector
* Investors


....the solar power plant now being developed all over the American southwest by a company called eSolar. Notice: no smokestacks; no coal chutes; no rail lines stretching to the horizon for coal trains to approach. It's a beautiful sight.

Notice, too, all around the powerhouse containing the steam turbine and generator are the thermal receiver towers and mirror arrays that make this thing work using only the abundant heat energy of the sun.

This is not photovoltaic technology that directly converts the sun's rays into electric current. This is thermal technology that collects and amplifies the sun's heat energy to create steam on an industrial scale, steam that spins turbines to generate power.

You might say it's a giant water boiler, but instead of burning coal, igniting natural gas or splitting atoms to create steam power, this plant uses the heat that naturally falls on the earth.

Google announced today it is investing $10 million in eSolar to help produce utility-scale power cheaper than coal, as part of its world-changing RE<C

Breakthrough: Concentrated Solar Power All Over Southwest US

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West Coast Banksy fans might be able to catch this show this Sunday morning. The Banksy piece was in the last half hour of the two hour show.

CBS News Sunday Morning The effect of the Writers Guild strike; the homes of artist Hunt Slonem; Laura Linney; the works of British street artist Banksy. 7 a.m. KCBS 41058, January 13, 2008.

Banksy Gets Up in Bethlehem Again Banksy Gets Up in Bethlehem Again Banksy Graffiti Art on The Wall Banksy Gets Up in Bethlehem Again Banksy in Palestine

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Are you ready for the Mardi Gras?

Oh yes, there will be Bawd.

Intimately, attached, no doubt, to Sen. David Vitter.

The Krewe du Vieux - a collection of excrutiatingly satirical subkrewes dedicated to the ribald skewering of the city's pompous, arrogant and incompetent - is sharpening its nails and preparing to roll with the theme "Magical Misery Tour" on Jan. 19.

In 2006, Walter "Mr. Bill" Williams took the throne as the monarch of the KDV, after years of letting his animated creatures warn of the looming doom of coastline flooding. Last year, Times-Picayune columnist-gone-mad Chris Rose donned a surprisingly natural-looking Mad Hatter's outfit and climbed on the throne as ruler of the Habitat for Insanity.

This year's King is Reginal Lewis, Mardi Gras Indian and Streetcar Wrangler, who will lead the subkrewes and their mule-drawn floats on an extended new route starting and ending in the Marigny.

The krewe and its 17 subkrewes leave no stone unturned, no subject taboo. The Mystic Krewe of Spermes, just to set the scene, cavort around the street with a school of giant sperm, impaled on poles.

In this 2007 video of the Krewe du Vieux, Chris Rose rules as the Mad Hatter in the Habitat for Insanity. (NOLA video by Jon Donley)

STRONG CAUTION: This is not an outing for a Sunday School class. KDV has been chastized by the Catholic Church, picketed by Protestants, pilloried by the Politically Correct. It is NOT for children or the easily offended.

Some highlights from the Subkrewes:

KDV's greatest charm is that it is a throwback to the satirical walking krewes that entertained Carnival crowds in the years before formal parade krewes with floats and balls. In the Quarter, with intimate settings in the narrow balconied streets, it's easy be transported back to the 19th Century Mardi Gras activities. The parade encourages close interaction with onlookers, and provides some of the top-name brass bands . . . this year's lineup includes:

Here's Krewe du Vieux's official release:


    King Ronald Lewis Will Guide Mysterious New Route

    Our magical city has a communications director named Quiett. Its web address is City Hall is located on Perdido Street - Spanish for lost. And you want to know where the misery comes from?

    Indeed, it's been quite a detour de force for the whole state and nation this year. Sen. Larry Craig crooned "Blew Gay Way", while our own senator sang "David Vitter's Lonely Whores Club Band"; then joined they both joined the entire Congress in "Fools on the Hill".

    A state judge refused to sing "Cleo Fields Forever", but the New Orleans City Council did a rousing chorus of "I Am The Wal-Mart". Oliver Thomas launched his solo career with "Can Buy My Love", while our D.A. ended his with "Sgt. Eddie's Only Honkies Banned". Faint traces could occasionally be heard of Mayor Nagin's "Nowhere Man"; Governor Blanco's rendition of "Your Mother Should Know" never even made it on the charts; but people all over Louisiana were heard humming "Bobby in the State House With Dimples". The new governor's first hit release was "All We Need Is Cash".

    The walrus was appalled.

    Many versions of "You Never Give Me My Money" were dedicated to the Roadblock Home people. Contractors everywhere belted out "Why Don't We Dump It In The Road?", while all of us here in K-Doeville found salvation with "We All Live In a Jello-Shot Machine".

    Taking full advantage of this string of chart-toppers, the bottom-dwellers of Krewe du Vieux have decided to embark upon a Magical Misery Tour. There will be new Twists on this year's trek through Faubourg Marigny and French Quarter, which will be a loop of looped loopies that will end where it begins. Whether it goes anywhere or not, the parade will take place on the impossibly early date and time of Saturday, January 19 at 6:30 PM.

Krewe du Vieux  

This parade often missed by Mardi Gras tourists is actually the best one, the first one of the season, and the only one that still has the right to parade through the French Quarter. 

 The Mad Hatter himself, King of Krewe Du Vieux, columnist Chris Rose. 2007 Krewe du Vieux packing for 'Magical Misery Tour'

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Brad Pitt's Pink House art installation ends Sunday

Posted by Doug MacCash, Art Critic January 05, 2008 4:20PM

AP PHOTOActor Brad Pitt points to the Make It Right Pink House art installation, representing sites where he hopes to eventually build homes for displaced residents of New Orleans.

Say goodbye to Make It Right's Pink House art installation Sunday (Jan. 6) at 3 p.m., with a free closing concert by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the 9th Ward's own Lastie Family Gospel and Choir.

The 150 startlingly pink fabric houses appeared in early Dec. as an attention-getter for star Brad Pitt's altruistic project to bring affordable homes to the flood-ravaged neighborhood. Donors have sponsored 65 homes so far and the fund-raising continues. The pink fabric houses will now be used to make collectible hand bags and -- possibly -- umbrellas.

Self-guided tours of the Pink House installation that begin at the corner of Claiborne Avenue and Reynes Street, continue through dusk Monday (Jan. 7).

For information, visit

Brad Pitt's Pink House art installation ends Sunday Brad Pitt's Pink House art installation ends Sunday Brad Pitt's Pink House art installation ends Sunday Brad Pitt's Pink House art installation ends Sunday Brad Pitt's Pink House art installation ends Sunday Brad Pitt's Pink House art installation ends Sunday

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On Christmas Day, the same day the tragic tiger event happened at the San Francisco Zoo, a horrific story seemed to fall through the cracks.

Tiger Found Shot To Death in Dallas, TX, the same day an escaped tiger in California kills one teenager and mauls two others.


$5000 Reward: Dallas Tiger Killer

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