Noon update


Airport update

Flights out of Baton Rouge, La., resumed for most carriers today. A phoner to a local news station reported that many carriers actually upgraded the size of the planes leaving BTR today. Additionally, several carriers scheduled extra flights out of BTR in order to help stranded travelers return home. It also gives locals who were out of town an opportunity to get home as soon as possible.


Kayes (Bambara Kayi, Soninké Xaayi) is a city in western Mali on the Sénégal River, with a population of 127,368 at the 2009 census. Kayes is the capital of the administrative region of the same name. The name "Kayes" comes from the Soninké word "karré", which describes a low humid place that floods in rainy season. The city is located 420 kilometres (260 mi) northwest of the capital Bamako.

1980 Pacific hurricane season

The 1980 Pacific hurricane season was an ongoing event in tropical cyclone meteorology. This season may be described through a series of negatives: no one was killed; no damage was inflicted; and no tropical cyclones made landfall. Indeed, this season is mostly notable due to a lack of notable tropical cyclones.
The season officially started May 15, 1980 in the eastern Pacific, and June 1, 1980 in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30, 1980. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern and central Pacific Ocean. However, due to an early system that crossed in from the western Pacific, this season actually began in April.

Excluding the storm that entered from the western Pacific basin and an unnamed tropical depression, fourteen tropical storms and hurricanes formed. This total is slightly below the long-term average. All eastern Pacific systems this year formed in the eastern Pacific proper.

more on current wind gusts

Average wind gust is 14 miles per hour (live according to a handheld device they are showing on the news) out by the Mississippi River front, which is not far from me. The device the reporter is using said that there was a gust at 45 MPH an hour ago & the biggest one we're getting now is around 30.

Again, they expect that to double soon.

It is still raining pretty hard.

There are apparently idiots walking down by the water front "sight seeing."
posted by ka

current weather - 7:30 CST Monday

Looks like I'm up for good now because it is no longer possible to sleep at all.

The wind gusts are heavy - to say the least.

It sounds like someone is standing outside both my door & all my windows & shaking them. Hard. And according to the news it is only winds at 20 miles per hour. Winds should peak around 60 miles per hour in about an hour & a half.

From my end though things are pretty good. The news just said that this it the "best" of the worst case senario.

11k people in the Baton Rouge metro area (very small amount) are without power now due to downed trees.

current weather - 4:45 CST Monday

I'm only posting because the wind woke me up & I still have power.

I am not about to go outside right now for a weather report, but I can tell you from the sounds coming from my window that it is very windy & raining. I can hear a light pelting of rain against the window. I can hear some very strong gusts in there as well.

Back to bed for now, but I'll be back to posting soon. Hopefully this post will keep my sister from calling me at 6 a.m. for a weather report.

once in 2 lifetimes

On the local news they just read a stat from the Weather Channel that said a category 5 hurricane is likely to come to New Orleans only once every 185 years.

They named another nearby city (Lake Charles?) & said those chances were once every 208 years. Not being from Louisiana & only having lived here for a year I easily forget city names from the time the anchor says them to the time it takes for me to blog it.

hyatt moving people closer to ground

Verdell Stone from WGNO is doing a phoner with the local Baton Rouge news station WBRZ & just reported that the New Orleans Hyatt is moving people from the top floors of the hotel to the ballroom on the 3rd floor.

According to the news, the NOLA Hyatt is next to the SuperDome. Makes me wonder about the comments raised over on Josh's blog about the true safety of the SuperDome as a sturdy shelter.

It is easy to see how citizen journalism can work when you keep an eye on various source (local media, comments from readers, and other local bloggers).

changing of the guard

The news crew switched over to a new duo about 30 minutes & ago ... & it shows.

No audio. Complete confusion at the news desk. Promo'ing the wrong interviews. Not to mention all the stupid things they are saying.

A quick step on my balcony finds no change in weather conditions here at midnight.

With that, it is time to go to bed. I hope I'll have Internet access in the morning & will be able to post updates then.

sticking around for the hurricane

I live in Baton Rouge, La. - about 65 miles west of New Orleans - & am stuck here for Hurricane Katrina. As with any hurricane, that is all people are talking about. Rightfully so if this beast keeps the current size and force as it touches down.

So, while I'm not in the potential eye of the storm, I think I'm close enough to give you an idea of what things are like in Bayou during this storm.

If you want to know something in particular & I can get the info for you without endangering myself then leave a comment & I'll do what I can.

New blog address
This blog has moved to my new website. Please check it out. Thanks! Emily

Press for ethics legislation
In a move likely to leave the rest of the nation shaking its head (people are indeed watching), the Louisiana legislature has killed a bill that would have banned the gruesome practice of cockfighting. But the legislature still has a chance to do something positive on another matter by allowing an up-or-down vote on HB 1236. HB 1236 is an ethics bill that would prohibit an "elected or

Cold, hard truth
This week's column considers the reality of Louisiana today and compares it to the business-as-usual approach of state leadership. As Winston Churchill once said, "The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is."

Health care reform?
This week's column laments a missed opportunity to tackle health care reform in Louisiana.

Louisiana survey
This week's column analyzes the 2006 Louisiana Survey Link to column in Shreveport Times here. Link to survey info here. Column text copied here: "LSU released the 2006 Louisiana Survey last week. It offers the first comprehensive snapshot of public opinion in the state since last year’s devastating hurricane season. According to the survey, the mood of Louisiana has changed in the last 12

More prison horrors
This week's column comments on continued reports of inhumane conditions at Orleans Parish Prison as Hurricane Katrina came ashore. An earlier column commented on reports from adult prisoners about the horrors of OPP. Now it appears youth were also locked in cells as the flood waters rose. The Times Picayune reports today on these new details as does the New York Times. The new report was

Change is possible in NWLA
My column this week considers the draft report released last week by Project SB and written about the The Shreveport Times. The column concludes: "The positive changes foreseen and the potential recognized by Project SB are welcome reminders to Shreveport-Bossier City that it can, and indeed, deserves to do better. But simply acknowledging that fact won’t bring about the improvements Project

LA media in the spotlight
My column this week considers the performance of Louisiana's media with respect to investigative journalism. In particular, the column focuses on the need for journalism to operate as an independent check on power in a democracy.

SHV's Volunteers for Youth Justice
This week's column focuses on Shreveport-based Volunteers for Youth Justice, an organization dedicated to serving youth in the juvenile court system in Northwest Louisiana. VYJ's annual awards dinner and fundraising event is scheduled for Friday, April 28 at Shreveport's new convention center. For more information about this event or to volunteer for VYJ call 318-425-4413.

Poverty of ideas in Katrina's wake
My column this week considers the continuing problem of poverty in Louisiana. The column begins, "Donning his persona of supremely confident über-anchor, comedian Stephen Colbert questioned a guest on the set of his Comedy Central fake news commentary show last week. When his guest referred to poverty in New Orleans, Colbert feigned astonishment, explaining that he thought Hurricane Katrina had

Living with estimates
My column this week urges caution in the usage of estimates when planning. Why? Because by definition, estimates can change.

Earning the title of "reformer"
My column this week suggests that the label "reformer" should only be granted when truly deserved. The point is this: "It’s easy for legislators of both parties to wrap themselves in partisan rhetoric and associated talking points, but it should be much more difficult for officials to earn the label “reformer.” Given Louisiana’s legacy of failed populism and the obvious socio-economic problems

The next legislative session
My column this week anticipates the legislative session beginning on March 27. No matter what happens, the nation will be watching.

Louisiana's place in the basement
My column this week considers the recent Most Livable State rankings released by Morgan Quitno Press. Louisiana was ranked last. The column's last few lines make the point crystal clear: "Consider Louisiana’s ranking in this Most Livable State survey since 1991: 50th, 49th, 50th, 50th, 50th, 50th, 50th, 50th, 48th, 48th, 49th, 49th, 49th, 49th, 49th, and now, 50th. Business-as-usual obviously

Budget brouhaha
My column this week considers Governor Blanco's new $20.3 billion budget proposal.

Revisiting indigent defense
My column this week considers the implications of the state legislature's recent request for federal assistance/money for the state public defender system.

On taking a stand
My column for this week isn't yet online at the Shreveport Times. I'll add the link when it's available. Full text of today's column is copied below. “Where you stand depends on where you sit.” The truth of this old adage -- that your position on something is connected directly to what you’ve got invested in the situation as a whole – is once again on display in Louisiana as assessments of

Louisiana's leadership problem
My column this week discusses Louisiana leadership problems. It begins, "For too long, Louisiana’s political playground has been a fantasyland operating in a vacuum completely unaffected by what, in other contexts, would be a political force known as accountability. Leaders in this political fantasyland have consistently ignored the reality checks offered courtesy of national rankings where the

Louisiana's tolerance
This week's column compares Louisiana voters' tolerance for low levels of government accountability with that of Pennsylvania. Conclusion: Pennsylvania voters are far less tolerant of their government's antics.

Needed but unlikely news
My column this week dreams about news Louisiana really needs to hear.

Perverse incentives, predictable results
My column this week considers a fundamental tenet of public policy studies: perverse incentives yield dysfunctional results. This week's column considers how that seems to play out in Louisiana.

Recovery not a given
My column this week considers Louisiana's ongoing need for a plan to recover from the 2005 hurricane season.

Myths of Katrina
My column in yesterday's Shreveport Times (no link available) addressed many myths persisting in the months since Katrina & Rita. Full text copied below: Debunking the Myths of Katrina Several myths have surfaced in the months since Katrina and her aftermath devastated New Orleans and much of southeast Louisiana. It’s time to start debunking them before they become so deeply ingrained they

Special session now
My column today addresses the need for a special session -- and soon.

Resolutions for 2006
My column this week in the Shreveport Times proposes resolutions for 2006. Link forthcoming. 2005 was a disastrous year for Louisiana. But 2006 will be a year of uncommon opportunity. Here are a few resolutions that might help convert Louisiana’s opportunity to reality: 1. Resolve to demand decisive leadership. Policy-by-commission isn’t it. 2. Resolve to question the state’s traditional media

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