Breakthrough on Miracle Monday! Tuesday, Sep 26 2006 

A year ago, New Orleans Saints fans wondered whether the Superdome would ever reopen and whether the team would ever come home from Texas, which was lobbying to keep it. The thought of opening the season 3-0 with a dominating home victory against the hated Falcons on Monday Night Football was simply unfathomable.

Yet there we were, sharing a magical night on an international stage. It was one in which New Orleanians of all colors and backgrounds truly came together, really for the first time since the storm. (For a somewhat different view, take a look at Rush Limbaugh’s ridiculous rant about how the whole event, or at least the ESPN coverage of it, was “pure liberal politics, disguised as social compassion” intended to embarass the Bush Administration. Really.)

For those who missed it and the scenes around town before the game, think Mardi Gras, but substitute black for purple and green. Grade schools had Black and Gold pep rallies, businesses shut down early, and Rebirth, the Goo Goo Dolls, Green Day, U2 gave incredible pre-game performances.

At the game, Steve Gleason’s BREAKTHROUGH block of the Falcon punt on the opening drive will go down in history with “Hakim Dropped the Ball” and Tom Dempsey’s 60-yard field goal as one of the greatest plays in Saints history. Below are some of the sights and sounds of Miracle Monday.





Fear, Apathy Cited as Tulane Alums Cancel LSU Bus Trip Wednesday, Sep 13 2006 


When the Tulane football team takes the field against LSU in Tiger Stadium on September 23, the Tigers will be heavily favored, to say the least. LSU has outscored its two opponents 90-6 thus far, and pending the outcome of its monster matchup with despicable Auburn this weekend, the team could be a national championship contender. On the other hand, Tulane was whipped 45-7 by Houston in its only matchup to date and will probably struggle this weekend against hapless Mississippi State, which has yet to score this year. Win or lose, however, the Green Wave can count on the unwavering support of their loyal alumni, who will charter a bus to Baton Rouge and embrace the pre-game atmosphere with a festive tailgate party.

Check that. Sorry. The bus trip and tailgate party have been cancelled. According to an e-mail obtained from a Tulane alumnae, only 11 “brave fans” signed up for the bus trip and the response for the tailgate party “was too low to support the outlay of human and financial resources.” Several cowards also e-mailed the alumni affairs office to complain “about their experiences at Tulane/LSU games and to explain why they would not be making the trip.”

True, LSU fans are not known for their cordiality to opposing fans, as witnessed by a Georgia Bulldog fan a few years ago. But aside from a few yahoos, LSU fans are generally good natured and will share their incredible food, like jambalaya, boudoin, gumbo, crawfish, and alligator sound. Just get there early, because when the sun sets, dem Cajuns tend to get a lil rowdy.

Prediction: LSU 48, Tulane 0. Attendance 92,141 (345 Tulane fans).

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Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 11:26:36 -0500
Subject: FW: Tulane v. LSU Football Sept. 23 / Tailgate and Bus


Dear Tulanians,

It is regrettable, but we will not be providing bus transportation to Baton Rouge on September 23 nor will there be a tailgate reception at the Field House on Skip Bertman Drive before the game.

The number of people who signed up for the bus trip and for the tailgate was too low to support the outlay of human and financial resources and I do hope that you understand. Eleven brave fans had responded for the bus and eighty-seven for the tailgate party. Several people did email to let me know about their past experiences at Tulane/LSU games and to explain why they would not be making the trip.

The alumni office will be personally making phone calls to let each reservation know about the cancellation. If you know of anyone who was planning to attend the tailgate but had not made a reservation, I would appreciate it if you could forward this message to them. We will have someone at the door of the Field House up until game time, just in case.

I am so sorry that we had to make this decision and I hope it will not deter any of our loyal fans from attending the game to cheer for our team.

Please do let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Roll Wave,

Charlotte Travieso, NC’64, Director

Office of Alumni Affairs, Tulane University

Lost Fifth Act of Spike Lee Documentary Revealed Thursday, Sep 7 2006 

47b5d731b3127cce940769c3357600000015108acngrdszbuv.jpg47b5d731b3127cce940769f1354400000045108acngrdszbuv_1.jpgA year ago this week, New Orleans downtown businesses were able to return to the city for the first time after Hurricane Katrina. With much of the city still flooded, the short visits were merely to take a quick inventory of damage and retrieve critical assets. It would be another month or more before most businesses were able to return for good.

It is not widely known (nor is it true) that Spike Lee’s renowned HBO documentary, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, was originally made up of five acts. Act V focused on the trek of a New Orleans law firm into the city and up the 36 flights of steps to their wind-and-rain damaged offices. The Weathers Report has obtained and is proud to air this lost fifth act; you can view it by clicking below.

Hey Florence, Kiss My Grits! Sunday, Sep 3 2006 

There’s another storm in the Atlantic, probably to be named Florence in a couple of days. Go north Flo. To Flo-rida.

Kids Mourn Removal of Pit Jump at Danneel Park Sunday, Sep 3 2006 

danneel-park.jpgThe park is nestled between million-dollar mansions and beautiful oak trees on historic St. Charles Avenue, and is absolutely . . . awful. Kids romp on old rusted playground equipment, and swing over a concrete block. (The rubber safety mat was blown away by Katrina.) The roof of the small shelter is partially collapsed, trash pickup is sporadic at best, and the grass and weeds are rarely cut. Welcome to Danneel Park.

000_01991.JPGYet the kids who patronize this historic playspot never complain. In fact, they were outraged when some meddlesome parents got together and removed the park’s “pit jump” attraction. The pit jump was actually an old slide that had been shredded by a tree felled by Katrina, leaving only the steps. Kids claim jumping into the pit below was “fun,” but concede it was not exactly “safe.”

Someone also set up an old tether ball pole, but after a few weeks the ball disappeared and has been replaced by a stick on a string. When you’re a three-year old it’s undoubtedly fun to hang on the stick and be twirled around the pole by your dad like a human tether ball. Of course, a child safety expert might raise a condescending eyebrow.

000_0200.JPG Recently, a group of concerned parents and neighbors organized to get the park updated with new equipment and maintain it, through a combination of pressure on city government, private dollars, and volunteer work days. The organizer of the group has met with the Director of NORD and enthusiastically reports complete cooperation. Progress is evidently being delayed, however, because FEMA needs to “record” the damaged structures before they are removed or the city will not get reimbursed.

Leave it to FEMA to ruin another aspect of life in New Orleans. Granted, the bumbling bueraucracy has resisted the temptation, at least as of press time, to turn the green space into a FEMA trailer park. (Former councilman Jay Batt has claimed his efforts prevented such a debacle.  If they did, he should be commended.)

To be fair, the park did sustain extreme damage in Katrina (pictured below on September 4, 2005), and the restoration of an Uptown park does not top the list of the city’s priorities.  But it’s been over a year, and an effort to improve they city’s parks will improve the quality of life in a city struggling to rebuild. For more information on the efforts to restore Danneel Park, contact Mamie Favor at


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From the humorously outdated City Guide New Orleans:

Constructed in memory of Hermann and Maria Louisa Grace Danneel, this new Uptown playground provides an excellent time-out for parents and kids alike. Situated along the streetcar line on beautiful St. Charles Avenue, the grounds feature three swing and slide equipped jungle gyms as well as a climb and slide, big red dinosaur. Swings include bucket seats for the little ones and strap swings for the bigger kids. There is plenty of plain ol’ running around room and a few benches for parents to watch the activity and talk to one another. The whole area is fenced in and every area of the park is easily visible. Danneel Playspot is clean and well-maintained.