Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Mark Samuels, President, Basin Street Records quoted in AP Story on ICF and Road Home Program

Today, Mark Samuels, president of New Orleans based Basin Street Records, is quoted in an AP story on Governor Blanco's Road Home Program and ICF, the contractor hired to run the program.

Read the least edited version I can find HERE.
For an abbreviated story with the best caption under a photo of Mark Samuels read HERE.

What they did not include from my interview is that I blame Governor Blanco 100%, and that if she hadn't waited for the full funding from Congress, this program could have had at least a 6 month headstart. She knew she had approximately $6.2 billion in December 2005 for this program and others, but waited on the other $4.6 billion that was approved by Congress in June 2006 (read about that HERE) to set up the mechanism for distributing the funds. The system could have been put in place much earlier and the dollar figures could have been adjusted upward in the event the full funding was approved.

They also don't note that Basin Street Records is located now in my home because I lost the office on Canal Street due to flooding as well. And they don't note that my home, that was worth $700,000 and is currently probably only worth about $300,000 won't be worth more than $400,000 after I put $250,000 in repairs into it.

Also note that Basin Street Records is being operated out of Mark's gutted home because the office on Canal Street was also flooded.

Friday, January 26, 2007

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival has announced its lineup for 2007. The dates of this year's festival are April 27-29 and May 4-6.

Kick off your Jazzfest on Thursday, April 26th with Basin Street Records' 10th Jazzfest Party at the Howlin Wolf. Your ticket not only includes our party featuring Henry Butler and Theresa Andersson, but also a show by none other than Little Feat!

Basin Street Records' artists performing at the Fairgrounds on the first weekend are as follows: Theresa Andersson, Henry Butler (both with his own band and as a member of New Orleans Social Club), Jon Cleary (both with his own band and as a member of Bonnie Raitt's band), Kermit Ruffins and Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. On the second weekend you can find Dr. Michael White. Please come to New Orleans. We are Open. To Just About Anything (I dare you to click on this link to see for yourself).

Thursday, January 18, 2007

ANGELINA JOLIE and BRAD PITT buy in New Orleans

The Times Picayune reported today that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt purchased a beautiful New Orleans French Quarter home and enrolled their oldest child in school here. Click HERE for the story. Welcome to New Orleans, y'all.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Irvin Mayfield & Kermit Ruffins on Saints/Eagles Pregame on Fox

Irvin Mayfield and Kermit Ruffins taped a segment for the New Orleans Saints vs. Philadelphia Eagles NFL playoff pregame show on Fox network this Saturday night, January 13th. We believe the telecast begins at 6:30pm CT. We predict Saints 71 - Eagles 9. Don't miss it!

Here is the link to a clip of it on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsWvV5fE4Fw&mode=related&search=

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Governor Blanco's Road Home Program Update

Sept 21: 2 hour meeting with Road Home program advisor.
October 9th: Inspection at my home.
Jan 3rd: finally received grant award letter (I expected $115,000-$150,000 but letter says my grant award will be $43,000.)
Jan 4th: after 30 minutes on hold got cut off when as they transferred me to an advisor to discuss my concerns (as the grant letter suggested). Called back and left a message on an answering machine that said my call would be returned within 2 days.
Jan 5th: called and left message on an answering machine
Jan 8th: called and left message on an answering machine (after first getting cut off)
Jan 9th: called and left message on an answering machine
Jan 10th: called and left message on an answering machine (after first getting cut off)
Jan 11th: called and left message on an answering machine (after first getting cut off)
Jan 12th: Ditto
Jan 15th: Ditto
Jan 16th: Ditto
Jan 17th: Ditto, but I also sent them a letter.
Jan 18th: called and left message on an answering machine
Jan 18th: called and left message on an answering machine
Jan 22nd: Ditto
Jan 22nd: Ditto
Jan 23rd: Ditto
Jan 24th: Called and spoke to Monica, yea! She told me that they received my letter and that I should expect a revised grant award letter. However, the revised numbers only addressed one of my concerns and I asked her to review the calculations again. As we were wrapping things up, my connection (perhaps my cell phone) ended. I called right back and got through again! I was not allowed to speak to Monica again, but I spoke to Ewell, who was able to confirm that Monica had input the information that I should expect a new calculation, and that another inspector would call me to come out to the house. He was not able to tell me when that might happen.

Congratulations Governor Blanco...I am home (in the upstairs of my house and have caught two rats so far in the gutted downstairs), but if my appeal doesn't result in a lot more grant money, I am about to decide to leave again. I WILL GIVE GOVERNOR BLANCO ALL OF THE ADDITIONAL MONEY I AM ABLE TO RECEIVE IF SHE WILL RESIGN BY THE END OF THIS MONTH!!!

UPDATE 6/22/07: While standing on the White House lawn on Tuesday, June 19th, 2007 while waiting for Kermit Ruffins and his band to come back from their photo opportunity with President Bush, I received a phone call from the Road Home program reviewing the numbers with me, asking which option I was taking, and letting me know that I should receive a phone call within 3 weeks to schedule a closing. I actually received the call to schedule the closing on Thursday, June 21st, and my closing is scheduled for next week. I was told by the woman who scheduled my closing that I should have the money within 2 weeks after the closing. It has been a long, long, wait and there are still tens of thousands of more people waiting, but it will sure be a big relief when the money comes.