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Jun 262017
 

Photo by Bart Everson

Lots of rain lately, but I was most impressed by the deluge on Tuesday, the 13th of June. 3½” in about an hour. Thanks to Sewerage & Water Board for distributing these rain gauges. We picked ours up at an Earth Day event, and it’s got my third-grader interested in some basic science and math.

Bart Everson is a writer, a photographer, a baker of bread, a husband, a father and a resident of Mid-City. He is a founding member of the Green Party of Louisiana, past president of Friends of Lafitte Greenway, and a participant in New Orleans Lamplight Circle. More at BartEverson.com.

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Jun 232017
 

Now, as a nation, we don’t promise equal outcomes, by we were founded on the idea everybody should have an equal opportunity to succeed. No matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from, you can make it. That’s an essential promise of America. Where you start should not determine where you end up.

-Former President Barack Obama

Day 58: Someone left a Wilson near where I ate lunch that day!

For part one of Matt’s Appalachian adventure, click here. For part two, click here. For part three, click here. For part four, click here. For part five, click here.

Cruising

“Listen, I don’t mean this in a racist way, but…” Katie began her sentence in a way that is almost always followed by something racist. This was a month ago and Katie was the until-now pleasant section hiker from Asheville, NC, who offered to drive a few of us the 90 minutes from Damascus, VA back to Erwin, TN, to continue our hike north. We had met her in Damascus for Trail Days, which as I described in Part 3, is the Mardi Gras of the Appalachian Trail, parade and all. Continue reading »

Jun 192017
 

Gun violence continues to plague us.

No, I’m not thinking of the recent shooting of congressional representatives in Virginia. I’m not thinking about terrorist attacks. I’m not thinking of police brutality.

Rather, I’m thinking of the shootings on our streets, which typically do not make national news but nevertheless shatter lives and break hearts.

Three of hearts: public domain image

Most everyone wants the violence to stop. Bullets fly, people die, mothers cry, we demand change — and yet the violence continues year after year.

Current methods aren’t effective. Clearly, we need to try something different.

Here are some concrete changes we could make in order to reduce violent crime in our society. Continue reading »

Jun 132017
 

Patrick Armstrong

Gearing up for this fall’s election in New Orleans, I remind myself that many of the questions I want to ask candidates for Mayor or City Council won’t be asked by the reporters who write our news or the forum moderators at various townhalls. This isn’t to disparage any reporter or moderator – they’re doing their jobs asking the questions they think the people want answered. And they also have limited time, so there’s a disincentive to get deep in the weeds when any candidate gives a non-answer that doesn’t really explain what they’re talking about.

I imagine this fall, we’re going to hear some questions about the cost of living in New Orleans. I’m sure we’ll hear about the shortage of housing or the affordability crisis, high rents and gentrification. I’m also sure we’ll hear a bunch of non-answers about how the whole city needs to work harder to do something about that. If any candidates answer in a more detailed way, I’m sure we’ll hear some confusing talking points about inclusionary zoning and how the State Legislature tried to gut that proposal that New Orleans was hoping to use. Continue reading »

Jun 092017
 

“Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.”
-Henry David Thoreau, essayist and philosopher

Beards and steers.

For part one of Matt’s Appalachian adventure, click here. For part two, click here. For part three, click here. For part four, click here.

Extraterrestrial Bees

“What?!” I yelled over the roar of the History Channel’s “Ancient Aliens,” playing on the living room television. Mimi, the hostel owner, who I think just yelled my name, was now beyond our reach, glued to the show as it made its final argument: that aliens allowed humans to drive dinosaurs to near — but not complete — extinction, by manipulating their DNA to make them smaller and less dangerous.

“What?!” I said again, but this time directing my frustration at the TV.

“Why do you watch this stuff, Ma?” asked Anteros, who trail-named himself after the greek God of Reciprocated Love. (For comparison’s sake, I was named after a pastry.) Continue reading »

Jun 052017
 

I’d just gotten out of the shower when I heard the brass band passing by.

Still in my bathrobe, I toddled down to the street corner to take a gander. There they were, coming down Banks Street, dozens of people in outrageous costumes, and a bicycle-powered float made up like a pirate ship.

It was Mid-City’s best kept secret: The Krewe of Palmyra.

Continue reading »

May 292017
 

Photo by Bart Everson

The RMMLF-PPPC claimed responsibility for this “carnival of iconoclasm.”

Bart Everson is a writer, a photographer, a baker of bread, a husband, a father and a resident of Mid-City. He is a founding member of the Green Party of Louisiana, past president of Friends of Lafitte Greenway, and a participant in New Orleans Lamplight Circle. More at BartEverson.com.

May 252017
 

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
– John Muir, environmentalist

Day 29 of beard growth. I think it really pops in the mist!

For part one of Matt’s Appalachian adventure, click here. For part two, click here. For part three, click here.

I walk.

I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk. I walk.

If each of those “I walk”s was a mile, it would represent less than 1/183rd of the trail. If each was a step, it would be 1/298th of what I hike on an average day. 1/5,580th of what I’ve completed so far. And 1/44,642th of the number of steps I’ll have taken by the time I arrive atop Mt. Katahdin. Continue reading »