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Defender Picks

 

JEUDI

May 25th

Soft Opening

Royal Brewery, 11AM

Come celebrate the opening of NOLA’s newest brewery

 

Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans

Royal Street, FQ, 11AM

Doreen Ketchens and her band

 

Jazz in the Park

New Orleans Armstrong Park, 4PM

Music by Honey Island Swamp Band + Hot 8 Brass Band

 

Ogden After Hours

Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 6PM

Featuring the funky sounds of Margie Perez

 

Conversation: On Cecilia Vicuña

Contemporary Arts Center, 7PM

Discussion on the “About to Happen” exhibition

 

JD Hill & The Jammers

Bar Redux, 8PM

R&B, rock blues, and everything in between

 

Luke Winslow King

Tipitina’s, 9PM

Support by The Washboard Rodeo

 

Dave Easley

Neutral Ground Coffeehouse, 10PM

Witness one of the city’s best guitarists

 

VENDREDI

May 26th

Bayou Country Superfest

Mercedes Benz Superdome, 11AM

Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Rascal Flatts and many more

 

Magazine St. Art Market

Dat Dog, 4PM

Happy hour + local art

 

Royal Street Stroll

200-900 Blocks of Royal St, 530PM

Led by the Krewe of Cork

 

YP Family Game Night

Urban League of Greater New Orleans, 6PM

Game night for young professionals and their families

 

Toonces and Friends

Marigny Opera House, 7PM

An orchestral journey through time

 

Spektrum Fridays

Techno Club, 10PM

Featuring J.DUB’L and residents Erica and Rye

 

New Thousand + Adrian

Balcony Music Club, 11PM

Violin centered hip hop

 

Free Music Series

Fulton Ally, 10PM

Featuring Bubl Trubl


Tolled Over: Votes still coming, recount looms on Crescent City Connection measure


by William Dilella

On Tuesday, one vote of  importance to everyone's wallets was the measure that proposed extending the Crescent City Connection Bridge tolls. Two days later, one of the more heated discussion points to appear on the ballot has seemingly passed by the smallest of majorities—a mere eight votes. But with some votes still yet to be counted, the future of the tolls is still uncertain.

 

Act 865, if it passed, would extend the tolls on the CCCB for 20 years and fund operations, as well as put more stringent and descriptive rules into effect on exactly how the money collected would be spent.

 

 

A heated debate ensued between politicians and local business entities, who claimed that Westbankers were being unfairly burdened by the de facto tax. Politicians cited that the legislation would let the people of the area, the ones who pay the tolls, decide.

 

“[This] absolutely gives the right to the voters in this area of the CCC Bridge to continue the tolls, if they so choose,” said Rep. Karen Gaudet St. Germain (D-60).

 

 

 

Rep. St. Germain, who also authored the bill—promised that this new legislation would not repeat, "the sins of the past."

 

 

“With the amendments coming up, it gets a lot more specific," St. Germain said. "It makes sure that DOTD only expends those tolls on the maintenance, operations and inspections of that specific span, which is described in this bill.”

 

 

Opposition said they'd heard it before, but the vote went to the people.

 

 

The turnout was high by local standards, with 308,738 votes overall (by contrast, the 3rd District Congressional Election between Charles Boustany and Jeff Landry that had caught national attention had 311,366 votes total). The opposition and support for the act was fairly even (even on the Louisiana Secretary of State's website, the voting percentage literally reads 50-50). The final tally only separated yes and no by a mere eight votes (154,373 for and 154,365 against).

 

 

The only parish that supported the act was Orleans, with 73,166 for and 61,939 against. Jefferson Parish voters came back with 74,973 for the tolls, but 87,019 against. Plaquemines had 4,234 for and 5,407 against. And In a race where (almost literally) every vote counted, it is interesting to remember that one version of the bill was originally amended, amongst other things, so only Jefferson and Orleans residents would vote on the issue. This version was rejected, and following that rejection, a joint committee of House and Senate members convened and agreed that most of the amendments were acceptable. The only one removed by the committee was the amendment excluding Plaquemines Parish from the vote. 

 

 

Following the committee’s report, the final signed version that made its way up the chain passed with far more than the two-thirds majority required for placing an amendment on the ballot, which brings us to where we are today. Or where it appears we are.

 

 

On Wednesday, November 7, Clerk of Court Arthur Morrell announced that given some issues with the election, including one charge of irregularities and some early and absentee ballots still looming in the count, and with such a slim margin, the vote can not be called certain, not yet.

 

 

Morrell said that he can't say how long it will take to validate the results, nor is it certain how long any recounts would take, should they be called for.

 

 

For now the highly contested fate of the tolls stays an unknown.




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Contributors

Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Dead Huey, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via

Photographers


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor

Alexis Manrodt

Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

B. E. Mintz

Editor Emeritus

Stephen Babcock

Published Daily