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Come see the in-demand bassist perform with his own band tonight
Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers
Les Bon Temps Roule (10:00 PM)
Candlelight Lounge (8:00PM)
Shake your brass in the Treme with a blend of hip hop, R&B, and pop
Maple Leaf (8:00PM)
One of New Orleans’ best percussionist invites his friends to the stage
PubliQ House (9:30PM)
Brass with electric guitar and keyboard
Chickie Wah Wah (8:00PM)
Americana from Austin
City Park (6:00PM)
Thursdays at Twilight, tonight with one of New Orleans’ premiere contemporary jazz pianists
Gasa Gasa (8:30PM)
Hosted by the Swamp Lilies, feat. Greg Good
Mid City Lanes Rock N Bowl (8:30PM)
Zydeco from Ville Platte
Ogden Museum (6:00PM)
Tonight, Jimbo Mathus performs while guests enjoy contemporary southern art after hours, sip on cocktails, and enjoy grub from Miss Linda’s Soul Food Catering
Crabby Cabbies Take Fight to City Hall
by Erica Boni
A new set of regulations imposed on taxi drivers in New Orleans have sparked a series of citywide protests that participants claim they are planning to continue every Thursday until the city considers changing the new City taxicab regulations that were recently enacted. Last week, the disgruntled drivers tried to crash one of the mayor's press conferences. Today, they showed up at the doorstep of City Hall. NoDef caught up with the dozens of clamoring cabbies at the corner of Loyola and Perdido as they tried to get their point across.
Under Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s recent ordinances, taxi drivers whose vehicles are over eleven years old will need to replace their cars regardless of the quality of their condition. For United Taxi alone this means a loss of over 60% of all running vehicles. Furthermore taxis will be required to install satellite navigation devices along with working air conditioning units, credit card machines and cameras. The reforms are supposedly intended to improve standards of safety and comfort for visitors in a city in which the state of the economy is so largely reliant on tourism.
One cab driver, Samuel, says the protests are not about a fear of progress.
“I’ve had a credit card machine that accepts Visa, Mastercard and cards from all the other major companies for four years now," he said. "I pay a fee that’s a little over 2 percent each time I use it. All of a sudden I am being told that I have to get a new machine from one of only four approved companies all of which charge me 10%. And none of these companies are local, all from somewhere else. I will lose a lot of money this way and I am not allowed to charge my customer extra for the convenience fee even though City Hall charges people a convenience fee of around 2.4% for using their credit card machine: It just isn’t fair.”
Additionally, only one company has been approved for providing cameras; the Canadian firm VerifEye, whose devices cost $1800, a fee which individual drivers will be responsible for paying. Furthermore, the cameras turn on automatically as soon as a door to the car is opened. As many drivers including Samuel see it, this is a direct invasion of privacy, “Many of us can’t afford two cars. For me, this taxi is the car I drive my family around in too. Why should the government get to see videos of my wife and daughter on our way to church or running errands?”
In addition to the lawsuits put forth by six taxi companies and three individuals who have sued to block reforms the owners of 3rd Eye Cam, a company based in San Francisco are in the process of seeking a preliminary injunction against New Orleans. They claim that Malachi Hull, the head of the taxicab bureau “unilaterally changed” industry standards via ordinances that directly benefit VerifEye Technologies. “It makes you wonder where all this money’s going” another taxi driver by the name of Tanvar Inam adds, “It’s seems a lot like monopoly.”
The mayor and City administration have consistently argued that the reforms bring New Orleans' taxi industry in line with industry standards across the country, and provide a better experience for passengers.
Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Ian Hoch, Sarah Esenwein, Will Dilella, Chris Rinaldi, Lianna Patch, Phil Yiannopoulos, Cate Czarnecki, Jonas Griffin, Jennifer Abbot, Mary Kilpatrick, Elaina Patton, Mike Horst, Devin Bambrick, Katherine McGuire, Norris Ortolano, Joe Shriner
Michael Weber, B.A.
Assistant Managing Editor
B. E. Mintz
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