Rising Tide 5 Press Release: Program and Schedule

Rising Tide NOLA, Inc. will present its 5th annual Rising Tide Media Conference centered on the recovery and future of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast on Saturday, August 28, 2010, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., at The Howlin’ Wolf, 907 South Peters St., in New Orleans.


8/28/2010 - The Howlin’ Wolf

8:30am – Doors open: Conference check-in with coffee, pastries & juice sponsored by Levees.org

9:30 – Opening Remarks: Kim Marshall, Chair & Alli deJong

9:45 – Crime and Justice Panel: Tulane Criminologist Peter Scharf to serve as moderator. We are also pleased to announce that New Orleans Police Chief Ronal Serpas has agreed to sit on the panel.

Panelists include:

Ronal Serpas was recently named Chief of the New Orleans Police Department. The native New Orleanian was most recently Chief of Police in Nashville, TN. The Times Picayune described his Nashville tenure like this: “The hallmarks of his tenure have been a reliance on statistical data in policing, a crackdown on gangs, an exponential boost in neighborhood watch groups, and wide-scale traffic enforcement.”

Jon Wool directs the Vera Institute of Justice’s New Orleans office, which is working in partnership with local criminal justice leaders and civic and community groups to improve the effectiveness and fairness of the system. Previously at Vera, Jon worked to improve indigent defense systems and on sentencing reform, was the Senior Counsel to the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons, and was a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Division in Manhattan, after clerking for Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. He received a JD from Yale Law School and a BA from New York University.

Allen James is Executive Director of Safe Streets.

Susan Hutson is the independent police monitor for the City of New Orleans.

11:00 – Keynote Address: Mac McClelland

McClelland is Mother Jones’ human rights reporter, writer of The Rights Stuff, and the author of For Us Surrender is Out of the Question: A Story From Burma’s Never-Ending War. She has “been on the gulf Coast since the early days of the Gulf oil disaster and... documented every last drop of it.”

Mac has reported from locations that include Malaysia, Australia, Thailand, Micronesia, Burma, New Orleans, and Bhutan on subjects such as the hot young Bhutanese king, post-Katrina recovery efforts, South Pacific conservation initiatives, and the decline of American manufacturing. She has posed as a high-class freelance call girl and has embedded herself into dumpster-diving culture. More importantly, she is, according to The American Prospect, “a total bad-ass”.

11:45 – Break

12:00 – Environmental Panel: “Paradise Lost” moderated by Steve Picou, a lifelong environmental activist, musician and futurist with a systems-oriented perspective. He is an outreach agent with the LSU AgCenter in the New Orleans area where he helps people and organizations reduce their impact, save energy and find ways to develop sustainable lifestyles and businesses. A blogger since 1997, Steve currently expresses his thoughts on the environment, politics, music and social justice primarily via nolamotion.com and highlights eco-abuse at dyingoaks.posterous.com.

Panelists include:

Robert Verchick is the Gauthier – St. Martin Chair in Environmental Law at Loyola University New Orleans. Currently on leave, serving in a government position in Washington D.C., he is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School. An expert in environmental law and the developing field of disaster law, he has taught at several American law schools as well as at universities in China and Denmark. His newest book Facing Catastrophe: Environmental Action for a Post-Katrina World, has just been released by Harvard University Press.

Len Bahr, founding editor, frequent writer for LACoastPost and former director of the Governor’s Applied Coastal Science Program, Bahr has advised several Louisiana Governors’ administrations as well as the LA Dept. of Environmental Quality, Hazardous Waste Division. He has also served in various capacities as a researcher and professor at Louisiana State University and at the University of Maryland Chesapeake Biology Laboratory.Lunch – Provided by The Howlin’ Wolf

2:00 – Politics Panel: Moderated by Peter Athas, longtime New Orleanian and recovering lawyer who currently owns a small business in the French Quarter. He has been blogging as Adrastos at his eponymous blog since 2005 and is also a contributor to First Draft and Back Of Town. He is one of the founders of the Rising Tide Conference and is currently its Poohbah of programming. He lives Uptown with his beautiful and brilliant wife, Grace and their two cats, Oscar and Della Street.

Panelists include:

Jason Berry, a documentary filmmaker and IP media consultant from New Orleans. His first full length documentary was completed in 2006 with fellow filmmaker, Vince Morelli, titled, Left Behind: The Story of the the New Orleans Public Schools. Berry began his blog, American Zombie, in 2006 as anonymous source reporting on corruption issues within New Orleans City Hall. After breaking numerous corruption issues within New Orleans city government, Jason went public with his identity in 2009 after being threatened with a libel suit by a New Orleans' city official. He was the 2009 Rising Tide Ashley Award winner.

Clancy DuBos, the chairman and co-owner of Gambit Communications, Inc., and the political editor/columnist for Gambit weekly newspaper in New Orleans. He also is the on-air political commentator for WWL-TV (Eyewitness News Channel 4) in New Orleans, and a licensed attorney. Clancy and his wife Margo have owned Gambit since 1991, and he has been an attorney since 1993.

Jeff Crouere, a native of New Orleans, LA is the host of a Louisiana based program, Ringside Politics, which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore.

Stephanie Grace, a political columnist with the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, focusing on local, state and national politics, and since Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Before moving to the op-ed page in 2003, she spent eight years as a political reporter for the paper.

Jacques Morial, “...a native of New Orleans with over a quarter century of inter-disciplinary professional experience in the areas of community organization, public policy analysis and development, capital finance, dispute resolution and strategic communications.” - Louisiana Justice Institute. Jacques is also occasionally seen playing himself on HBO’s Treme.

3:00 – Break

3:15 – Presentation: Why Can’t We Get Some Dam Safety in New Orleans?

Tim Ruppert , engineer and NOLA Blogger, exposes inequities between the Federal government’s design methods for dams and levees. For his Rising Tide 2 presentation, “In Levees We Trust” Tim explained why the so-called “100-year level of protection” is completely inadequate for a highly developed and populated area such as New Orleans. This year Tim expands upon that topic and asks why dams and levees alike are not designed as life safety systems.

3:45 - Presentation of 2010 Ashley Morris Memorial Award

4:00 – Down in the Treme: Maitri Erwin, Moderator, founder of Back of Town: Blogging Treme, author of Maitri’s VatulBlog & reporter for VizWorld.com, she is also Indian Languages advisor to Project Gutenberg, the first producer of free electronic books.

Panelists include:

Eric Overmyer is a playwright, television writer and producer. He is the the co-creator and Executive Producer of HBO’s hit series, Treme, and has written and produced numerous TV shows, including Law & Order, Homicide: Life on the Street, The Wire and New Amsterdam.

Becky Northcutt, one of two non-NOLA ringers blogging Treme at Back of Town, she sometimes writes about pop culture, the environment, and politics at First-Draft.com. She created the short-lived Got that New Package! blog about The Wire, and was lucky enough to share that obsession with Ashley Morris and Ray Shea, among others. She is a queer, a naturalist, a music lover, and a Texan, none of which she had any choice about.

Dave Walker has bee a TV columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune since September 2000. Before that, he worked as TV columnist and pop culture writer for the Arizona Republic, and before that he was a feature writer and columnist for the Phoenix alternative weekly New Times. Born in Kansas City, raised in Chicago. His American Rock 'n' Roll Tour, the first guide to pop music landmarks, was published by Thunder's Mouth Press in 1992.

Davis Rogan is a New Orleans musician who began his broadcast career on WTUL at the age of 10, and was a DJ at WWOZ for 13 years. He first came to prominence in the New Orleans music scene with his eight piece funk group All That, for which he was lead singer, band leader, principal songwriter, arranger and producer. Davis is also script consultant for Treme and makes periodic appearances on the show.

Lolis Eric Elie, a staff writer for HBO’s Treme, his television work includes include Faubourg Treme, the PBS documentary directed by Dawn Logsdon. He was also a columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune for 14 years. --Rising Tide 5

The one-day conference features speakers and panel discussions on the status and future of the culture, politics, criminal justice system, environment, and flood protection of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Past speakers have included actor and outspoken champion of New Orleans Harry Shearer, and authors Dave Zirin, John Barry, Christopher Cooper and Robert Block.

Rising Tide NOLA, Inc. is a non-profit organization formed by New Orleans bloggers in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the failure of the federally-built levees. After the disaster, the internet became a vital connection among dispersed New Orleanians, former New Orleanians, and 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, to mark the anniversary of the flood, the bloggers of New Orleans organized the first Rising Tide Conference, taking their shared interest in technology, the arts, the internet and social media and turning advocacy for the city into action.

Conference registration is open at http://www.risingtidenola.com/. Registration is only $25 until Friday and includes lunch. Day of registration is $30. Please bring non-perishable food to contribute to Rising Tide's food drive benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank.

There will be pre-conference party hosted by the New Orleans bloggers on Friday evening August 27 from 7:30pm to 10:30pm, also at the Howlin’ Wolf. More information is available at the Rising Tide 5 Website: http://www.risingtidenola.com/ and at the Rising Tide blog: http://www.risingtideblog.blogspot.com/

The New Orleans bloggers will present the annual Ashley Award named for Ashley Morris—blogger and passionate advocate for New Orleans—who passed away in April, 2008. The Ashley Morris Award is given each year to an outstanding blogger writing about New Orleans and the challenges it faces.

Rising Tide’s featured artwork, available as a poster and t-shirt, is once again produced by the award-wining editorial cartoonist and artist Greg Peters of Suspect Device.

Tables for booksellers and vendors are available at the Rising Tide 5 Conference by calling Tim Ruppert at 504-975-3591 or by e-mailing tmruppert@yahoo.com. Rising Tide 5 is sponsored by The Canary Collective, Gambit Weekly, Levees.org and Cox Communications.

Those interested in sponsorship should e-mail info@risingtidenola.com. Information about registration is available by emailing registration@risingtidenola.com. The telephone number to call for information about Rising Tide 5 is 866-910-2055.Connect with Rising Tide on your preferred platform:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RisingTideNOLA
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RisingTide


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