Tagnoise pollution

How far will Jindal go to prove his tax isn’t really a tax

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As feared — but predicted — the tax on New Orleans hotel guests is headed to the desk of Gov. Bobby Jindal. It’s hard to imagine that Jindal — who harbors dreams of riding all the way to the White House on the white horse of fiscal conservatism — would endanger his reputation by approving a tax hike when it finances such a dubious purpose. And before...

An arguably unconstitutional tax hike races toward Jindal’s desk

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Earlier this month I told you about the ill-conceived plan racing its way through Baton Rouge to impose a new tax on tourists visiting New Orleans and to use the money not to address the burning problems in our neighborhoods — high crime and lack of code enforcement — but on an amorphous tourism slush fund. Although our arguments have gained some traction, so far common sense has not...

Jindal to embrace stealth tax hike?

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Governor Bobby Jindal is said to have lost his “mojo” this legislative sessions. His plan to repeal the state income tax failed before it got started. His education reforms are on life-support due to successful court challenges to his plans for vouchers and public charter school supports. Yet, publicly he remains committed, he says to vetoing any tax that comes before him. He opposes the...

Stop the bass-ackwards plan for New Orleans tourism

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There’s an old saying that he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword. Well, here in New Orleans, the tourism industry is a double-edged sword. Ever since the first oil-and-gas crash of the 1980s and especially since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005, the Crescent City has depended on the kindness — and the tourism dollars — of strangers from all over the world to...

Famed NOLA entertainer learns the true meaning of noise pollution

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Some folks are born New Orleanians (like me) but many others fall in love with the Crescent City and adopt it as their own, including some Hollywood celebrities. Harry Shearer — star of “This is Spinal Tap” and TV’s “The Simpsons,” and formerly of “Saturday Night Live” — is one of these. He’s done a lot more than just buy a home here...

City of New Orleans breakdown in enforcing noise laws is an assault on civil society

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One of the more important topics I cover here at this site is noise pollution, particularly in my hometown of New Orleans. Over the last few years, I’ve worked together with a website www.HearTheNOLAMusic.org, where you can find a lot of critical information about the harmful health impacts from unregulated noise. That is why communities pass noise and other quality of life ordinances: It...

BUKU Carries Assault on Neighborhoods to New Noisy Level

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Sometimes the threats to our quality of life strike close to home, in the middle of the night…from the “bump, bump, bump” that assaults our ears because this City Administration, like the one before it, refuses to protect our neighborhoods from the assault of unregulated noise. The BUKU Festival is just the latest evidence that there is no noise control program in the City of New Orleans; that...

If you’re going to New Orleans, be sure to pack some earplugs in your bag

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Mayor Landrieu and tourism leaders: We, the residents and property owners of New Orleans hear you loud and clear…at least we’re trying.   We’re ready for company but the cacophony is already building in the French Quarter from Superbowlers, Mardi Gras revelers, musicians, street performers and revelers!   Improved streets, working streetlights, the new streetcar lines and upgraded Convention...

There’s noise pollution and then there’s distortion

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Make no mistake — in New Orleans, we’ve always loved our jazzmen…from Louis Armstrong to Professor Longhair to Winton Marsalis to dozens of great stompers and shouters that you’ve probably never heard of. But I’ll tell you one kind of person we don’t stand for in the Crescent City: A strawman. This other day, a distinguished — or once-distinguished...

New Orleans memo: You can still have great music without noise pollution

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Sometimes a name can tell you a lot. In the past, I’ve told you about my enthusiastic support for a New Orleans group, active on Facebook and the Internet, that’s called “Hear the Music, Stop the Noise.” The title makes a powerful point: That it’s possible for a great American city like my hometown to continue having a spectacular and vibrant music scene without...

Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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