Listening Post Preview: How Do We Commemorate Hurricane Katrina?

Where are we 9 years after the storm? How do we memorialize the event? This week on the Listening Post we talk second lines and historical plaques and hear from YOU about how you think the city should mark next year’s 10th anniversary. Not to mention our very special guest…YA BOY WILD WAYNE!!!

Tune in to 89.9 FM tomorrow, Thursday, August 28 at 8:35 a.m. (*new time slot*) to hear the full segment or check 

Where are we 9 years after Katrina?

It’s bound to be the topic of discussion all next week: 9 years since Hurricane Katrina and where are we now?


Here’s one of our regulars at Norman Mayer Library sharing her thoughts (listen to our WWNO segment on Thursday morning to hear what she had to say).

And of course we sent out a text to the Listening Posters to find out what you think. We asked:

  • Has New Orleans recovered from Katrina?
  • What’s gotten better/worse?
  • How should the 10th anniversary be commemorated next year?

Here are some of the answers we’ve gotten so far:

Help the nineth ward

New Orleans still has a long long way to go! !!!


So much is better, all that creative juice powering start ups! Sadly now my husband & I can’t even afford a hovel in the hood. the folks that can afford to buy, raise the rents, try to close the Country Club, and bitch about loud music & second lines. I wish there were some kind of program to help out people who BADLY want to move back but have been priced out.”

Many improvements have been made to New Orleans, since Katrina, in that much of the city’s infrastructure has now been repaired, upgraded &/or replaced, as a result of the storm. necessary resources severely lacking & which is impeding both NOLA’s recovery & economic development is that the city is no longer a 24hr town - It is difficult to impossible to find healthy food choices late at night, which is unacceptable for a city who’s work force is largely reliant on the service industry full sized grocery store that is open after hours (Mardi Gras Zone, in Bywater). NOLA is also only place in northern hemisphere w/out a 24hr Walmart, which is unacceptable, especially for a city of this size.”

For these questions, I always defer to friends who were living here during at the time, and the answers are always mixed.

I think it has. But I am new here. I cannot tell there was a storm unless someone points things out. It should be celebration for the dead. A collective funeral for those who passed in the storm.

Hard for me to say since I wasn’t living here prior, but maybe businesses and residents should pick projects in their neighborhood for improvement on damages caused in Katrina.

Lower ninth ward stop the money making tour’s of damage.

better though. I don’t think there should be any commemoration for the 10th anniversary. Let’s forget the bitch.

New Orleans has gotten worst…the plan is to get rid of all the lower class people in the city .. That’s why the levees were broken..the people over the city are selfish ..we have a lot of issues to talk about like healthcare ..homelessness.. All people should come together and ask god for strength because if you weren’t affected by Katrina personally you have know idea ..”

Thanks for the warning about the second line I’ll be sure to warn everyone in the lower 9 so they can stay in their houses and hard them from the thieves who have been massively abusing the nint ward residents in recent months especially during events. 30 brazen burglaries, daytime, teens caught on camera still unidentified. Also roving streets checking car doors many many, thefts of car contents. Armed robberies on levy, many unreported, partly because of small amounts task n, but largely because of disgust , and feeling of uselessness of police dept. They tend to follow the levy and hide in the lovely underbrush along the holy cross school. Most neighbors are aware of who they are associated, which house. One of the kids used to live back here and still comes to visit his friend. They are very abusive, on a number of levels . Their behavior is dangerously escalating. During one second line last year someone’s new tire with lock bolts was stolen in broad daylight. It a good time for these horrible abusers come around and take what they want. They have been raised without any basic morals, or respect for our laws. The filth and trash that didn’t raise them right and let s their teens run wild should be held completely accountable 100% for all damages they cause!!!

Tune in this Thursday at 7:35 a.m. on 89.9 FM to hear more about how New Orleans commemorates the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. 

The Listening Post team discusses the project with Internews. 

Violence has many victims


This week on the Listening Post we talked to people about what causes violence in New Orleans.

Listen to our show here: Listening Post 

And here’s what people had to say via text message: 

My students are being shot at. They are dying. I am heartbroken.

I was appalled to hear the listening post comment this morning that we need more police to make New Orleans safer. That’s like saying we need more prisons to fix our criminal justice systemIt’s obvious that drugs, especially rapidly increasing heroin use, are behind a lot of the increase. We desperately need more and better mental health services. There are also WAY TOO MANY GUNS available in our community.

My personal exp centers around NOPD as the perpetrator. As a 62 year old w/ no arrests, etc. my biggest fear is NOPD, there isn’t any officer friendly anymore. I teach my 15 year old grandson to be just as vigilant with the police as he is with any other situation that can render him harm.

I have experienced more crime in Baton Rouge personally, but I’m afraid to raise children here. I think lack of sentencing and lack of opportunities for underprivileged kids perpetuates violence here. Lock criminals up so that they cannot reoffend and give more opportunities to teens.

'Take the revolving door off the jail. Most crimes are done by repeat offenders. More trained officers and letting children see the jails in field trips. poverty, antisocial behavior disorders, poor family role models = breeding ground for violent criminals. I’ve been burglarized - auto and home - and robbed on the street. Moved my primary residence to the Gulf Coast and have an apartment in a secured building to protect myself because I live alone. Also parent responsible for crimes by minors. 

Must have mandatory preschool programs to start learning/reading at a younger age, to assure success in school/life later. Comprehensive, age appropriate sex education programs must be taught, can make a big difference in our children’s lives if we educate earlier. We must ensure children’s safety and lives by respecting their educational and health needs at an early age.

To be honest, most of the victims know their murderer and the innocent who are affected are collateral damage. I am not fully sure how to formulate an idea or even an attempt on how to fix the problem. If only we don’t make deals with bad people or are too afraid to speak up when we know the people who makes these bad deals, then I assume things would be better and safer for people in general.

I lost a friend in a home invasion to gun violence in 2007. Later that year friends of my family fell victim to a home invasion where 6 people were shot, 4 died. In 2008 I was mugged at gun point in front of my house in mid city. If the 17 year old boys who mugged me weren’t on drugs maybe they wouldn’t have been out mugging people and stealing automobiles. If they had an education system that cared about them maybe they would have spent their time more positively. Maybe drugs should be legalized? Maybe there should be city wide lead remediation, because lead poisoning in children has lead to lower IQs, mental retardation and violence.

The violence is so prevalent, callously applied, and non-discriminant. I have been mugged several times - being beaten by teenagers and adults alike. Also, i have been given a physical warning from the KKK. The violence spans race and class, as we know.

No direct experience w violence, but lots of stories. Causes: inefficient policing, poverty, social isolation and inequality, etc. To reduce: giving people something to do? And dialing down on systemic disenfranchisement of especially young black men. Tough question though.

What causes it? Maybe the feeling of Helplessness over one`s plight. Disenfranchisement? Braggadicio? Drug/retribution crime. Hate crime. What can be done? It is apalling how little resources are available to youths - afterschool programs, rec centers, public pools, and most importantly role models. Violence begets violence. Or maybe it`s just in the water we drink.

A lot of our violence seems drug or gang related, and by the time they act the perpetrators don’t care who gets caught in the crossfire. So unnecessary and very sad for innocent victims. We need to provide good education, jobs, and health care, and community oriented law enforcement to address possible crime before it turns tragic.

I have onlyhelped victims of violence but most of them have been people abused by this city s institutions. Basically I think oppression is the root cause of violence.

To be honest, most of the victims know their murderer and the innocent who are affected are collateral damage. I am not fully sure how to formulate an idea or even an attempt on how to fix the problem. If only we don’t make deals with bad people or are too afraid to speak up when we know the people who makes these bad deals, then I assume things would be better and safer for people in general.

We have in this country a massive epidemic of abusive aggressive, violent behavior that has been at severe epidemic levels since the emergence of the crack generation of the 80s . Nothing appropriately has been done in our society to diminish the situation. Children are left to run rampant at all hours of the night. (Ferrell was one description given in another major cities news paper). Currently in this country we have only a two party system, crime and punishment, were are lacking in the psychological area, teaching (morels , manners and respect.) 

I believe that if we all, as owners of this city, would act the same towards crime, and not worry about race, we would be more focused on solving some of the crimes and not just pointing fingers at the other race! The black community really needs to stand up and call it what it is. It’s crime within their own community against each other. Drugs!!!! These poor innocent bystanders (children) are paying the price to these modern day monsters! I’m so tired of hearing the excuses about “it’s because I’m black”. What about all the crime all the killings is it still “it’s because I’m black”? No one teaches their child how to work hard for a living anymore they just want the easy way out. They certainly don’t care who they hurt trying to get it!! We all need to have a talk!!!!

I and my friends have lost a number of students to violence. A focus on alleviating poverty and it’s side effects (unstable housing, chronic stress, mental health issues, malnutrition) is half the solution. The other half is making police officers accountable community members. Every time a cop runs a red light or speaks disrespectfully to a citizen, it erodes the relationship and makes policing more difficult. Why trust you to protect me from threats if I can’t trust you to follow basic traffic laws?

The ongoing violence in New Orleans & around the country highlights a systemic problem—black communities suffer a disproportionate level of violence, receive inadequate criminal justice support and are targeted as arbiters of violence without evidence.

Thanking God I have had no personnel experience. I think drugs causes most of the problems. More officers without a doubt and more education in schools. More after school and weekend places for kids and young adults to go.

Jobs. Education.

As a police officer, I have seen first hand the results of this violence. There are a variety of problems in my view. One unique to new Orleans is ourlazzes fare attitude. Society cares more about crawfish boils and saints games than the crime problem. When we focus on these issues, we can begin tomake progress. It is a lack of empathy.

Put poor NOLAW to work you aren’t killing if you are working and proud of your job :-) Have kids understand how good school can be llll them.for kids that are really bad off let’s have a live at school program for them.

Community building and communication workshops for young people to better understand problem solving.

Was at a show last night at one eyed jacks and saw a ton if blue light on bourbon, turns out someone was stabbed to death. I’m not even going to mention it to my out if town guests.

Demilitarize NOPD, policing defined means familiarity & connectivity with local community, not gun powered slaughter.

relax residency rule for Police recruits and develop a Zero tolerance policy for illegal fire arms.

Lack of fundamental education for all AND opportunity to utilize that education. All people need to believe there is a reason to strive for more in life. two tiered (PARENT AND CHILD) education compulsory for public assistance to all parents under 22, but also make the resources to make this realistic, available.

What causes violence = lack of education and access to jobs.

I have had 2 close, personal friends be victims of personal violence in Nola. One was shot 3 times sitting in his vehicle in front of his house, 2 blocks from my own home. The other person was stabbed multiple times, during daylight hours, outside of the quick-e mart on prytania. Both people survived, luckily. Both incidents occurred in uptown, and both cases are still unsolved as far as I know. Making Nola safer is so hard. I think we need to rehabilitate people and help people, not just incarcerate them. People are released from incarceration with little To no workable skills or support to better themselves upon release. People need help, not more and more jail time.

Ok- Friend murdered, numerous friends beat up (15?), me?…last month drunk driver crashed my parked car and she tried to escape scene. Had to press cop to do a breath test. 3 hrs later she still failed it. Need new police chief (?) better guidance in handling situations, better online record keeping/data entry, better accountability. Of course living wages, education, jobs, more recreational support would help create a more calm society. (Also cooler weather would help! Haha..)

I’ve lived in NOLA all my life and have never been the victim of a crime, or even known anyone personally who was. I think if you avoid drugs and gangs, you’ll be fine.

There is evil in this city, inscribed from its birth. 

We need a WPA job program to guarantee work to every person ages 16-25. The murder rate is a crisis, let’s treat it like one: bold, expansive, sustained.

Pretty much everyone I know has been mugged at gunpoint. I’ve had one friend murdered, no suspects. I was attacked by a 19 year-old, no gun, though. He was caught. I testified to put the perpetrator on jail. He got out at age 26, attacked someone else with a gun and was shot dead in that exchange. New Orleans will be somewhat safer with fewer guns, opposing beyond drug-selling. But that is tied into problems with the changing global economy and a lack of jobs in general. Finding opportunities in growing industries and getting young people into training programs *might help. Pretending everyone is college bound is ridiculous.

No personal experience, knock on wood. Street lights could help.

I’m an ER nurse. I’m at the hospital when many GSWs arrive both dead and alive. I was there last Sunday when the 3 children, the mom And the 33 year old woman came from burgundy and flood. These killings are drug and gun related and the killers and targets are loaded (drugs) when they come in. To avoid traumatogy you must first… Know your drug dealer and second pay your drug dealer! Seriously we have to ban automatic weapons and do routine and random searches and stops We have to ensure gun carriers have lisences. Conduct focus groups among killers to develop methods that work. We need to fly witnesses out of this area to protect them and help them start over. People are not talking because they are scared and have to return to their homes without protection. We need to involve the mothers to be able to get their kids help before they are another casualty.

In New Orleans, poor kids attend some of the worst schools in the country and their streets are patrolled by infamously corrupt and incompetent police. People with means send their kids to private school and hire security companies to keep their neighborhoods safe. Most other places in the US would see this as a fundamental breakdown of the social contract.

I hope you will continue these texts. I can help you. Desiree

Over the last two years, there have been three shootings on the same corner next to where I live, resulting in one death. All three appeared to be crimes of passion, but you never know. A safer New Orleans will require a change in our culture, which will take many generations, but certainly worth the effort

Listening Post preview: reflections on a violent weekend in New Orleans

Last Sunday two people were killed and five injured in a shooting in the Lower 9th Ward. Two children were severely wounded in the incident. 

Violence is common in New Orleans. In 2013 there were 155 documented murders in the city. So far in 2014 there have been 82.

Tune in to 89.9 FM tomorrow morning to hear what people in New Orleans have to say about violence in our city, including more from Karen and Troy, who were present at the scene of the shooting. 

Smoking Ban?


Those are the questions from the LP grab bag this week. Here’s what people said about smokin’ in the New Orleans boysroom.

•   “I love non-smoking bars and go to them as much as I can.

•   “No, I do not. A smoking ban in bars could hurt most businesses.

•   “Possibly more people enjoying a cocktail in a lounge.

•   “Yes. It would be better.

•  Yes. Make them better.

•  “Yes! I prefer no smoking… I think a ban on bars would create a lot of initial outcry then everyone would adjust - for the better

•  “Yes, I would go to some bars more often if they weren’t so much smoke!

•  “No, I don’t. More and more people do. I think we’re going to hear people scream about people trying to change New Orleans, oftentimes I’m one of them. New Orleans is a non PC town, but this is something that is good even for smokers. I think once it happens, people will be accepting of it here, and even prefer it.

•  “Absolutely, I never go to bars that are smoky. Ban is a long time coming but I think smoking is a novelty for tourists.

•    “I do consider smoking and much prefer smoke-free bars. However, I appreciate the freedom of bars to decide in New Orleans.

•     “It is a big consideration when I go out. Some of the best bars in the city can be truly unpleasant for nonsmokers and I would like to see that change. The drinks I’m buying are bad enough for my health without inhaling someone’s smoke at the same time. I think a ban would mean more people outside to smoke. But at least in NOLA we’re not forcing people outside in bitterly cold conditions like cities farther north.

•     “Yes. For the better. ”

•    “Yes I do. Sometimes I have to leave a bar when it gets too smoky.  Even if the music is good. ”

•    “I think Latoya Cantrell should be focusing on real problems in the city, like woeful education outcomes, crumbling infrastructure, and criminal justice issues.”

•    “I don’t consider it, and it would certainly change the city. It would be healthier but less of the free attitude.”   

•    “Yes. I think initially, it may affect the bars but I think if the owners designate a smoking section outside, it will even out.
“Prefer non-smoking. People would be upset if it was banned. Alcohol and cigs go together.

•   Go Latoya!!

•   “Yes, it depends on whether I want to smell smoke in my hair for the next 24 hours or how drunk I already am ”

•    “Planes are missing, children too. Yet you bombard my phone with trivial bullshit like smoking, and who’s taking a stance against it? Kiss my ass you substance less bastard.

•    “YES! I definitely consider whether or not the bar allows smoking before I decide if I’m going to go for a drink or listen to music or something. I have lived in a number of cities that have instituted smoking bans, and after the initial grumbling, everything kind of went back to normal. Bars filled with people, with the only difference being that smokers went outside when they wanted to take a break. I love to watch saints games at bars, but won’t go to anywhere that allows smoking inside. Did that for two games and smelled so bad afterwards I simply couldn’t go back.


•   “I don’t really. It would change the atmosphere for good in some cases, certainly for “bad” in others. I have a very hard time believing a ban would arrive at ”

•    “I choose not to go to bars where smoking is allowed. Smoke is an enjoyment killer.”

•    “How is this question even newsworthy? With all that’s going on, could you not get a consensus on something of relevance or importance?”

•   “Let people smoke. If smoking is that bothersome to you nonsmoker’s, stay out of public places that allow it. Or better yet, drink in your own backyard”

•    “I absolutely choose bars based on smokiness. I think bars w live music should be smoke free”

•    “I definitely consider it for health reasons and because of the odor in my hair and clothing afterwards. The ban will impact the local “love and let live culture,” but I think it’s an acceptable change.”

•    “Yes. Nola should ban smoking in public spaces. ”

•    “Yes. Strongly prefer non smoking !”

•    “that a smoking ban will not affect tourist’s decisions to visit the city. All in all I think it’s a change that’s long overdue. ”

•    “These cities have also shown that profits aren’t affected. People will always go out to drink, especially in NOLA. A survey of tourists in New Orleans showed ”

•    “I do consider smoking/non-smoking when choosing a bar to go to. I choose non-smoking whenever possible. I think a ban on smoking in bars would change New Orleans for the better. The health of bar workers and patrons will improve and other cities have shown that smoking rates drop after smoking is banned in bars. ”

•    “Do not smoke even at bar.”

•    “Yes. It would improve the health and well being of patrons and employees.

•    “I like it better when people are NOT smoking. And it’d probably be bad to ban smoking. ”

•    “Yes. It would change the vibe of certain bars. Take away some of the mystique.”


AAN 2014-engaging your community panel results

The Listening Post asked participants at the AAN conference in Nashville “What does community journalism mean to you…”

Here’s what came back at us. 

  • Local reporters, local stories that impact my life, news that affect my decisions, news that empowers me to engage and join the community
  • Making sure my neighbors are informed
  • It means being relevant to our community. Encouraging & soliciting the voices in our community to be and stay engaged and involved in the conversation.
  • Knowing what’s happening around the corner from my house
  •  I want “real news” local news news that directly affects my community and my communities concerns
What What??!? Happy B-day LP

What What??!? Happy B-day LP