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Defender Picks



March 28th

Book Reading: Elizabeth Pearce

Garden District Book Shop, 6PM

From her new book "Drink Dat New Orleans: A Guide to the Best Cocktail Bars, Dives, & Speakeasies"


Spring Publishing Camp

Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop, 7PM

Book publishing workshop


Gabby Douglas

Dillrd University, 7PM

Olympic gymnast talks fame and fitness



The Carver, 7PM

World soul jazz music


Laughter Without Borders

Loyola University, 7PM

Clowns for a cause, to benefit Syrian refugees


Tuesday Night Haircuts

St. Roch Tavern, 8PM

Tonight: beer, haircuts, karaoke


Thinkin' With Lincoln 

Bayou Beer Garden, 8PM

Outdoor trivia


Water Seed

Blue Nile, 9PM

Interstellar future funk


Stanton Moore Trio

Snug Harbor, 10PM

Galactic drummer’s side project - also at 8PM


March 29th

Response: Artists in the Park

Botanical Garden, 10AM

Art exhibit and sale en plein air


Studio Opening Party

Alex Beard Studio, 5PM

Drinks, food, painting to celebrate the artist's studio opening


Sippin' in the Courtyard

Maison Dupuy Hotel, 5PM

Fancy foods, music by jazz great Tim Laughlin, and event raffle


Work Hard, Play Hard

Benachi House & Gardens, 6PM

Southern Rep's fundraising dinner and party 


Lecture: Patrick Smith

New Canal Lighthouse, 6PM

Coastal scientist discusses his work


Pelicans vs. Dallas Mavericks

Smoothie King Center, 7PM

The Birds and the Mavs go head to head


Drag Bingo

Allways Lounge, 7PM

Last game planned in the Allways's popular performance & game night


They Blinded Me With Science: A Bartender Science Fair

2314 Iberville St., 7:30PM

Cocktails for a cause


Brian Wilson 

Saenger Theatre, 8PM

The Beach Boy presents "Pet Sounds" 


Movie Screening: Napoleon Dynamite

Catahoula Hotel, 8PM

Free drinks if you can do his dance. Vote for Pedro!


Blood Jet Poetry Series

BJs in the Bywater, 8PM

Poetry with Clare Welsh and Todd Cirillo


Horror Shorts

Bar Redux, 9PM

NOLA's Horror Films Fest screens shorts


A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie

Howlin Wolf, 10PM

Bronx hip hop comes south



March 30th

Aerials in the Atrium

Bywater Art Lofts, 6PM

Live art in the air


Ogden After Hours

Ogden Museum, 6PM

Feat. Mia Borders


Pete Fountain: A Life Half-Fast

New Orleans Jazz Museum, 6PM

Exhibit opening on the late Pete Fountain


Big Freedia Opening Night Mixer

Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture, 6PM

Unveiling of Big Freedia's 2018 Krew du Viewux costume


An Edible Evening

Langston Hughes Academy, 7PM

8th annual dinner party in the Dreamkeeper Garden


RAW Artists Present: CUSP

The Republlic, 7PM

Immersive pop-up gallery, boutique, and stage show


Electric Swandive, Hey Thanks, Something More, Chris Schwartz

Euphorbia Kava Bar, 7PM

DIY rock, pop, punk show


The Avett Brothers

Saenger Theatre, 7:30PM

Americana folk-rock


Stand-Up NOLA

Joy Theater, 8PM

Comedy cabaret


Stooges Brass Band

The Carver, 9PM

NOLA brass all-stars


Wolves and Wolves and Wolves and Wolves

Gasa Gasa, 9PM

Feat. Burn Like Fire and I'm Fine in support


Fluffing the Ego

Allways Lounge, 10:30PM

Feat. Creep Cuts and Rory Danger & the Danger Dangers


Fast Times Dance Party

One Eyed Jacks, 10:30PM

80s dance party


LA Swift Supporters Seek Long Term Funding

Keeping the commuter bus between New Orleans and Baton Rouge running will likely require private interests on both ends of the line to pony up, according to officials. On Thursday, the state announced it was extending operations of LA Swift for one more month to give local entities a chance to come up with enough money to fund the service. But that doesn't mean the service is funded. With City coffers tight both in the Crescent City and Red Stick, in-kind donations will be required to keep wheels on.


The bus, which runs between New Orleans' Union Passenger Terminal and Baton Rouge, was created in the wake of the Federal Flood to allow for transit between the two cities for displaced residents and commuters. However, the federal funding runs out at the end of the state's fiscal year on June 30.


By extending the service through July, the state Department of Transportation and Development also agreed to use one-time funding to cover the cost of the service. After that funding, the service is staring down a tab of $750,000 per year that must be picked up by locals. And due to regulations put in place by the Federal Transit Authority, even increasing the $5 fares wouldn't cut it. Local entities are required to match funding with the state, and the money for a ride cannot cover that money, according to the state.


For the short-term fix, organizations like the Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce and the Greater New Orleans Foundation, as well as local businesses from both cities, are looking to raise money that would cover the cost for the next year. The City may also kick in some money, said City of New Orleans communications director Ryan Berni.


"There may be an 'in-kind' local match given that the City owns the Union Passenger Terminal, where there is a pickup and drop off point," Berni said in an e-mail.


But that only solves the problem in the short-term. The bus service has the backing of Mayor Mitch and the New Orleans City Council, who passed a resolution Thursday calling on the service to remain in place, as well as leaders in the business community in both cities. The gap created when the state's one-time money runs out will also need to be filled. That could lead to fare increases, or contributions

of additional state money. In the meantime, the City has also asked the Regional Planning Commission to look into potential funding sources, Berni said.


The local transport advocacy group Ride New Orleans recently conducted a survey that showed 51 percent out 300 riders used the bus to get to work, and another 17 percent use the bus to access health care services. Organization director Rachel Heiligman is confident that the short-term fixes will fall into place.


Heiligman believes the new funding scheme could also be an opportunity for improvements to the bus line, said Rachel Heiligman, executive director of transit advocacy group Ride New Orleans.


"The service really could benefit from some refinement, and perhaps even some expansion," she said.


In Baton Rouge, the bus currently doesn't stop on LSU's campus, or in downtown Baton Rouge, Heiligman said. By adding stops, the bus service could expand into an even more realistic transit option that would reduce congestion on Interstate 10, Heiligman said.


Stephen Babcock contributed to this article. 

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Evan Z.E. Hammond, Dead Huey, Andrew Smith

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