I’ve been getting heavily involved in the new documentary Other Side of the Fence which is being made by my buddy Kevin Frech. Well, now its crunch time- with only a matter of hours left we have almost raised our needed completion funds through our Kickstarter campaign. The thing is, if we don’t meet our goal we get nothing, zip, nada. That’s the way Kickstarter works.

We have been contacted by an Angel investor who will donate the last $4K we need, if and only if we can reach the $6K mark by the deadline. (The bottom of the widget to the left shows in real time where we are in relation to our goal.)  So I am reaching out to our readers. We’ve only got to raise about a thousand dollars and we have achieved our objective. We also have only a matter of hours to do so (roughly 50 and counting at the time of this writing). Will you help us complete the doc?

“Why should I help? I know nothing about this film, what is it about?”  I’ll let Kevin’s own words sum it up:

The film asks the question, “How can we expect to save the animals if we won’t save the people?” by focusing on men who have survived both sides of the equation: ex-poachers turned game wardens like Nanyuki. On my first trip to Kenya I met Nanyuki, a former poacher who’d killed over 150 elephants. Now, as a police reservist, he protects the very same elephants he once hunted so mercilessly.

You can get a much more detailed description, view some of the footage already in the can, and donate just by clicking the widget above.

Thanks!

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katrinahouseMost of my posts over the next several days will be audio reports from Rising Tide IV, a conference founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the leveee failure that followed.  Here’s the short form:

After the flood that followed Hurricane Katrina’s landfall, the internet became a vital connection among dispersed New Orleanians, former New Orleanians, friends of the city and of the Gulf Coast region. A surge of new blogs erupted and, combined with those that were already online, a community of bloggers with a shared interest in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast developed. In the summer of 2006, after the success of the first Geek Dinner, and to mark the anniversary of the flood, the newly formed NOLA Bloggers organized the first Rising Tide Conference, taking their shared interest in technology, the internet and social media and turning advocacy for the city into action.

Over the intervening years we have had guests ranging from the Wall Street Journal’s Chris Cooper and Robert Block, authors of Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security, to this year’s keynote Speaker, Harry Shearer.  I’m particularly happy that Mr. Shearer made the time to join us this year as his bloggin about the disparity between national news and the actual events in the disaster zone have been vitally important over the past four years. (I’m also a huge fan of The Simpsons…)

I’d like to invite anyone with questions about Katrina, New Orleans, or the conference to feel free to drop me a line or leave me a comment. I’ll answer as best I can and if I don’t know the answer I’ll find you someone who does.

Okay. Next stop, New Orleans!

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Rising Tide IV

 

Keynote Speaker Harry Shearer

Keynote Speaker Harry Shearer

Rising Tide IV, the annual bloggers conference on the recovery and future of New Orleans, will be “Sinking to New Heights” on Aug. 22 at the Zeitgeist Multi Disciplinary Arts Center in New Orleans. Our featured speaker: the multi-talented Harry Shearer, a great champion of New Orleans on Huffington Post and elsewhere, along with panels on the status and future of New Orleans music, food and parading culture; the state of New Orleans health care, politics in the Last Year of the Reign of Nagin, and more.

Registration is open at www.risingtidenola.net and is only $25 until August 20th and includes lunch from Cafe Reconcile. There will be a social Friday evening Aug. 21 at The Avenue Pub upstairs..Additional details will be posted to the Rising Tide blog and the Rising Tide IV Facebook page.

Our annual featured artwork (seen in the right hand sidebar), available as a poster and t-shirt, is once again produced by the award-wining editorial cartoonist and artist Greg Peters of Suspect Device. Octavia Books will be on-site with books by featured panelists and other New Orleans interest books.

There will be four panel discussions along with the featured speaker and presentations will also be given by Jessica Rohloff of Net2NO and Ariella Cohen of the New Orleans Institute.

The New Orleans bloggers will also present the annual Ashley Award named for Ashley Morris—blogger and warrior for New Orleans—who passed away in April 2008. The Ashley Morris Award for Excellence in Blogging is given each year to an outstanding blogger writing about the New Orleans community and the challenges it faces.  The recipient of the award will receive a glass ingot sandblasted with a Greg Peters design on it that symbolizes our community rising from the waters and reminding us all why New Orleans matters.

There will be four panel discussions with audience questions. The first, on New Orleans Culture, will examine the “under the hood” state of critical aspects of NOLA culture four years after Hurricane Katrina and the Federal Flood. Panelists include Edward Buckner of The Porch Seventh Ward Culture Organization and the Original Big 7 Social Aid and Pleasure Club Our food panelist will be Susan Tucker, editor of New Orleans Cuisine: Fourteen Signature Dishes and Their Histories. Our music panelist will be Bruce Raeburn of the Hogan Jazz Archive and author of New Orleans Style and the Writing of American Jazz History

The Politics panel will feature  John Slade, cartoonist and WBOK radio talk show host, Clancy Dubos who has been the political voice of The Gambit fr many years now, Lamar White Jr. of CenLamar, and Ethan Brown. The panel will look at where we’ve been and  where we’re going in regard to local, state and national politics as we approach a pivotal 2010 election.

The Health Care panel will explore the current issues surrounding the care of our physical and mental needs in the greater New Orleans area four years after the storm, starting off from a recent study linking increased instances of heart attacks to the stresses encountered in the recovery process: Holly Scheib, moderator, working on PhD in public health (http://coldspaghetti.org/ blog); Cecile Tebo, crisis unit coordinator for the NOPD, featured in 10 Top Female Achievers issue of New Orleans magazine; Dr Elmore Rigamer, medical director of Catholic Charities;  Sean Fitzmorris, New Orleans EMT, administrator of New Orleans EMTs Sound Off!  (http://nolaemt.blogspot.com/)

The Sports panelists  Alejandro de los Rios (reporter/blogger for the Gambit), Leo McGovern (editor/publisher of ANTIGRAVITY Magazine) and Chris Wiseman ((http://worldclassneworleans.blogspot.com/ ) an enthusiastic member of the Black and Gold Patrol  talk about the Saints, the Hornets, sports and the state of sports fandom in New Orleans.

Yours truly will be the Master of Ceremonies.

Please share this, blog about it, or contact me with any further questions!

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RT4Next month marks the fourth anniversary of the failure of the New Orleans levees (a distinct and separate disaster from Katrina, although most outside the region do not know it).  It is also the fourth year of the Rising Tide Conference, a gathering spearheaded by the New Orleans blogger community to examine   and address the city’s ongoing concerns in the wake of what locals call “The Federal Flood.”

This year we will have noted comedian and longtime New Orleans proponent Harry Shearer as our keynote speaker. I can’t wait for that, especially as I have been invited to MC the event. There will be panels on New Orleans culture, the state of health care in the city, the political landscape and more.

Now I know a lot f my readers on this blog are from other parts of the country, which is why I encourage you to check out the event. Natural disasters and engineering failures can strike anywhere, and there is no better example of how poorly things can be handled at all levels than the Katrina response was. Living in Ohio now I have really had it illustrated to me how little people outside the disaster zone really know about the situation, mostly due to a simple lack of hard facts. This conference is a perfect vehicle for self education on the subject.

If you live near a levee or dam, if you live in an area where forest fires/tornadoes/earthquakes occur, or if you have a simple love of New Orleans and its history then this is important to you! Please check it out, attend, or donate to support the effort. As people across the Midwest discovered not long ago, you could be the next one lost in a morass of post disaster FEMA paperwork while you try to find a roof to put over your exiled family’s heads.

For more info please check out The Rising Tide Blog, Flickr Community, or follow us on Twitter. I will also happily answer any question posted to the comments here.

Thanks!

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Ready or not, the fourth annual Rising Tide conference will be on Saturday August 22 at the Zeitgeist Theatre in the Central City area of New Orleans.

Originally launched by members of the NOLA Blogger community on the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the Great Levee Failure of ’05, I’ve watched this conference grow every year since. If you have any interest in New Orleans, disaster recovery, or the use of digital and social media for the common good then you should check it out.

If you’d like to read some of the posts made about last years event here are a few pertinent links for your perusal:

Cliff’s Crib
Pistolette on the Education Panel
Suspect Device
Varg at The Chicory
Deidra of G-Bitch
Tim promises more to come
We Could Be Famous
Michael Tisserand on Gambit’s BlogOfNewOrleans
Oyster on John Barry
Tim’s Nameless Blog

Rising Tide is a non-profit effort of the NOLA Blogging community. If you are unable to attend but wish to support the efforts there is a paypal button on the website that you can use to make a donation.

More details on this year’s confernce coming soon.

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Yahoo! Green

The Yahoo! Green Award is back for its third year at the N2Y4 Conference. Yahoo! is committed to empowering our communities to make a positive impact on the environment and is looking for innovative uses of technology that will inspire people to use social technology to help the environment.

The most innovative green technology project from the NetSquared Global Project Gallery, reviewed by Yahoo!, will receive a $5,000 Yahoo! Search Marketing award. The winner will be announced at the N2Y4 Conference. Learn more: http://www.netsquared.org/challenges/yahoogreenaward

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