One request for the renewed Mr. Mayor -- you lost a lot of people on this one (me included, for a while): Please practice enough discretion to not ever again say anything so racially divisive.
Katrina has provided an incredible opportunity to evolve out of a destructive racist mentality -- prejudice that goes both ways. Much of the rest of the country is much further along in this movement. With that "chocolate city" comment you carved a distinctive racial divide -- you acknowledged and supported it. And NOW is the time for people to get over that foolishness and judge each other on the actions and the quality of the individual -- not skin color.
I assume that this degree of offense and partition was not your intention -- so follow through with the message that was on that enormous, obnoxious, undoubtledly expensive billboard by the interstate: UNITE.
I marvel at the duplicity of the American people who lavish huge financial and emotional capital on injured Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, while subsidizing the abuse and slaughter of billions of horses, cows, pigs and other sentient animals for their dinner table. Although we don't eat horses, we slaughtered 88,000 last year for export to countries that do.
The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (HR 503 and S 1915) would permanently ban U.S. transport and slaughter of horses for human consumption. Similar congressional efforts were thwarted by the United States Department of Agriculture earlier this year.
It makes no ethical sense to cherish our horses, dogs and cats while paying for the abuse and slaughter of billions of similar animals that are not part of our family. With the great abundance of soy-based meat alternatives in every supermarket, it makes no practical sense either. Nicholas Gruez Pick Up Your Own Trash On Sunday morning after the runoff mayoral election, I noticed a green trash collection truck -- flanked by no less than three workers -- slowly rolling down the still-out-of-commission streetcar tracks on St. Charles and Carrollton avenues. They were picking up campaign signs!
Wouldn't it be a better use of our precious resources to pick up trash?
I recommend that it be made mandatory that those campaigning for public office be responsible for retrieving their own signs one day after an election or face enforced penalties of, say, $10 per sign. Aren't our candidates and incumbent officials supposed to be helping the city recover, not adding to already stressed resources?
Gary Michael Smith
Stay in California
To the Dude from California (Letters, May 30): Let me apologize for not being sufficiently depressed for you as I built the Jazz Fest. I put aside the rebuilding of my flooded-out house to make time to come back to my job at Jazz Fest because I felt it was important. I felt we needed to show ourselves and the world and the heavens what we were made of. That if we put our minds to it, life can go on. That, yes, for a while there was escape from the mortgage companies withholding our money, the insurance companies shortchanging us, the phone companies not giving us service, the garbage people not picking up our garbage, the rats now in my neighborhood, the months of anticipated work to rebuild my house, the well-founded trepidation of building before the levees are fixed. Apparently, that we to decided to throw a festival and move on and do the best we could do was not enough for you. Stay in California. The staff in my food department put aside all our daily obligations to make this festival happen. At least a quarter of our staff lost their homes, were displaced outside New Orleans and found a way to come back to work their jobs. We loved seeing each other. We found hope and confirmation in why we are fighting to come back from each other. We put aside our personal tragedies to make a festival.
What more do you want? A T-shirt that says we are strong? What do we need to do? Tell me.
And I'm sorry you didn't get the appropriate T-Shirt? This was not business as usual to build this festival. Construction workers gave up high-paying jobs to come back to lesser pay. I gave up three months of rebuilding my house to make Jazz Fest happen. Coworkers drove in from New Iberia and Houston to camp at friend's houses to make this happen. Quint Davis felt the weight of obligation to his loyal workers who he wanted to keep employed and for that matter he probably felt the weight of what it would say to the world if we were to lie down and not have a festival. We're all weary and have more hard road to travel and you didn't get you're appropriate T-shirt. Stay in California.