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Defender Picks

 

Halloween

November 1st

Voodoo Fest

 City Park, All Day

Outkast headline tonight

 

Gravity A

Blue Nile, 1a.m

Following Kermit Ruffins & The BBQ Swingers and Big Sam’s Funky Nation

 

Roger Bowie & the Midnight Visions

Bamboula’s, 12:30-4:30a.m.

Nola Party Music + 2nd set tribute to Band of Gypsies in the back room

 

Morning 40 Federation + Happy Talk Band

d.b.a., 11p.m.

Funk, Jazz, and Rock from dat 9th Ward

 

Flow Tribe

Gasa Gasa. 9p.m.

Homegrown Nola Funk for your earholes

 

Hurray for the Riff Raff + Clear Plastic Masks & Dante the Magician

Hi Ho Lounge, 10p.m.

Jam out with hometown heroes and company 

 

Donde Wolf + Blind Dumb Pilgrums and Charles Bronsons Bronze Sons

Howlin' Wolf - "The Den", 11p.m.

$5

 

Halloween Aqua Circus Extravaganza

Joy Theatre, 10p.m. 

Fishbone & MarchFourth Marching Band

 

Debauche + Dirty Bourbon River Show + Ashton Hines and the Big Easy Brawler & More

The Maison, 10p.m. 

 

Jim Monoghan's 19th Annual Halloween Parade

Molly's at the Market, 6p.m.

Join The Storyville Stompers, The Kazoozie Floozies & More for Molly’s freak fest

 

Quintron & Miss Pussycat + Ballzack + Manatees

One Eyed Jacks, 9p.m. (sold out)

Psychedelic Nawlins Soul

 

Galactic Special Halloween Show + Earphunk 

Tipitina's, 11p.m. (sold out)

 

26th Annual Lestat Coronation Ball

The Republic, 8p.m.-2a.m.

Anne Rice, SkinzNBonez, 504 Dancin Man, Mardi Gras Indian Wildman John, Mary Fahl, Nightbird, Zebra with New Orleans Native Keyboardist, and The Black Bats. 

 

LEFTOVER CRACK, Potato Pirates, Juicy Karkass, Rats in the Wall, Mea Culpa

Siberia, 9:30p.m.-2a.m.

CRACKTOBERFEST 2014 Punk/SKA extravaganza

 

Halloweird: A Warehouse Party

2735 Toulouse Street

Brian T. Simonson & Poorboyz Productions Presents Epic Live Music and Djs with St. Clair Pizza


Desert Campaign

Lower 9 Food Access Coalition Identifies Obstacles to Food Desert, Names Goals



The Lower Ninth Ward has been a hot topic since Katrina devastated the area, but smatterings of new homes and nonprofits can only do so much for the neighborhood’s long-term revitalization. People need to eat, and the closest thing Lower Ninth residents have to a grocery store is a Wal Mart in Chalmette, three miles from their homes. 

 

 

The Lower 9th Food Access Coalition emerged from within the community, and they’re not interested in quick fixes. The area has been classified as a “food desert” since before the federal flood. The U.S.D.A. defines a food desert as any population of 500 or more that does not have a grocery store within a one-mile radius. The last time residents had a mid-sized grocery store in their neighborhood was 1987.

 

The coalition aims to identify the specific forces that stand in the way of food equality, eliminate those barriers, and attract sustainable commerce to the area.

 

Founder Jenga Mwendo was born in the Lower Ninth Ward and raised between there and New Orleans East. Mwendo said one of the most critical components of her team’s initiative was reaching the members of the community and taking their specific needs into account.

 

Rather than taking to the tweetosphere, Mwendo and her team began handing out fliers door-to-door in April of 2012.

 

“We really tried hard to make sure we reached as many Lower Ninth Ward residents as possible. We were aware that email and internet are not always the best ways to reach a lot of folks down here, so we made a very conscious choice not to advertise meetings that way,” Mwendo said. “We purposefully didn’t include the locations of the meeting [on the fliers]. Instead, we instructed people to contact us first to explain to them what it was about.”

 

The coalition also spoke at monthly Neighborhood Network Empowerment Association meetings, and they dropped off fliers at businesses up and down St. Claude and Claiborne. According to Mwendo, residents are battling preconceived notions of what low-income, African-American neighborhoods mean for business.

 

“[The Lower Ninth is] a primarily low-income, African-American neighborhood with very poor access to food. Grocery store operators will say the neighborhood is risky, and they make assumptions about the potential of crime and theft from the stores,” said Mwendo.  

 

However, the Lower 9 Food Access Coalition tells a different story. According to projections from a study conducted by DePaul University, LSU, and UNO, a grocery store could be a highly lucrative endeavor. Based on data from the 2010 U.S. Census which indicates the Lower Ninth holds 3,775 households, an estimated 2,000 of those would spend over $5,000,000 a year on food consumption.

 

Currently, 61 percent of the neighborhood’s residents are homeowners. Since over 30 percent do not own cars, the grocery store would need to be located on the St. Claude commercial corridor or on Claiborne Avenue.

 

“We’re still human beings, and we still need to eat. Everybody has the right to have access to quality food,” said Mwendo. The community leader asked rhetorically, “How do you rebuild a neighborhood that’s so devastated?” The activist also noted the catch 22 in play. “People won’t come back if certain amenities aren’t there, but business owners won’t come back if there aren’t a number of people back in the neighborhood,” she said.

 

There are currently ten businesses selling any kind of food in the Lower Ninth. Out of these, only four are black-owned, seven sell junk food, three sell limited fresh meat, and only two sell limited fresh produce.

 

Access to high quality food becomes a human rights issue when one considers the health implications of corner store dining. African-American communities experience a disproportionate rate of hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. All of these illnesses are diet-related.

 

Mwendo said the community discussed and determined three primary solutions for their lack of food access. Lower Ninth residents would like a mobile grocery store, a healthy corner store, and a school-based grocery store.

 

“Overall, these are things that the [coalition] is committed to working towards,” said Mwendo. “Having our money stay within our community is a positive thing, and several people mentioned that there has to be ‘Mom n’ Pop,’ businesses owned by residents,” said Mwendo.

 

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Contributors:

Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Elizabeth Davas, Ian Hoch, Lindsay Mack, Anna Gaca, Jason Raymond, Lee Matalone, Phil Yiannopoulos, Joe Shriner, Chris Staudinger, Chef Anthony Scanio, Tierney Monaghan, Stacy Coco, Rob Ingraham,

Staff Writers

Cheryl Castjohn, Sam Nelson

Art Listings

Cheryl Castjohn

Photographers

Brandon Roberts, Rachel June, Daniel Paschall

Film Critic

Jason Raymond

Puzzler

Paolo Roy

Art Director:

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor:

B. E. Mintz

Published Daily by

Minced Media, Inc.

Editor Emeritus



Stephen Babcock