HELP SAVE NEW ORLEANS MUSIC CLINIC

John Boutttè and Paul Sanchez – from the Threadhead party 2007. This is one of my favorite songs.

Yep, there`s no cocktails in this post, instead its full of music – and a very important message.

Tales of the Cocktail is around the corner and soon many of us go down there to enjoy everything that Nola has to offer including some of the best music in the world. But there´s something that we need to do something about – if we care about New Orleans and its unique musicians that we love, so read on:

What the NOMC are doing is helping the marginally paid working musicians of New Orleans to get affordable preventative healthcare, for themselves and their families. Now in just about three or so months 90% – yes you read it – 90% of the funding for the NOMC will be withdrawn by the federal governement in the name of “saving money”.

That is cutting the feet off the musicians.

The clinic needs help to keep operating for the good of the musicians and culture of New Orleans and you can help the NOMC by donating or by sharing the message that the Clinic needs help.

Do you care about New Orleans musicians? You can make a difference and you can help. And fortunately it’s easy.

Just tell your friends who love music and believe in justice about SaveTheClinic.org

If you’re able, donations are welcome of course, but simply helping spread the word is a huge help. The donations cannot be too small, every dollar counts – so please – do help!

This video is from the TV show Tréme, “Shame, Shame, Shame,” a song by Smiley Lewis, here sung in its own version by the unforgettable character Davies, played by Steve Zahn and backed up a bunch of talented folks – among them Tyrus Chapman, Kermit Ruffins and the Pfister Sisters.

Here are answers to the questions asked from the NOMC:

In 2005, engineering failures in the city’s levee system caused tens of billions of dollars worth of damage to New Orleans homes, businesses, and infrastructure.

Real dollar damage. Not Wall Street paper profits.

Contrary to news media reports, only a fraction of the money pledged by government and other sources has actually made it to the city.

In spite of this and against all odds, New Orleans is recovering and recovering strongly.

By all accounts, the city’s musicians have been and continue to be leaders in the recovery.

They were among the very first to come back and demonstrate their faith in New Orleans.

When times were darkest provided the bright light others needed to rekindle their hope.

Now, the federal government, which provided modest grants locally to institutions that focused on helping the uninsured, is pulling their support from these programs and the New Orleans Musicians Clinic is one of the groups effected.

In the Clinic’s case, this represents 90% of their funding.

=== Questions and Answers

Q: Why is the government doing this?

A: Why does this government do anything it does?

No doubt they believe they are “saving money.” It sure seems like a strange way to “save money” to me. Maybe to you too.

===

Q: Who should we write a letter to in the government to express our concern?

A: It probably wouldn’t hurt to write a letter to the President, but realistically – and the point of this campaign – is to help the Clinic become as independent as possible from the whims of government officials.

The key is for people like us who care to get together and do something about it.

===

Q: Is the New Orleans Musicians Clinic well run? Will the money I donate be spent prudently?

A: Yes and yes .The Clinic’s program uses its resources so wisely that it’s able to provide over $3 of medical care for every $1 it spends.

Musicians, tradition bearers and other artists in the city who use the Clinic are not only enthusiastic about the services it provides, they also comment over and over on the caring they experience as clients.

Perhaps most important, in addition to the normal range of medical services it offers, the Clinic has an orientation towards prevention that makes it unique in the nation.

It’s a health care model that works for people, something the whole country can learn from.

===

Q: Won’t health care reform in the US solve the problem?

A: Absolutely not.

First, the new health care program does not take effect until 2014.

Second, health care reform will not cover the kind of comprehensive and preventative programs the New Orleans Musicians Clinic offers musicians, tradition bearers, and their families now.

==

Q: What will happen if the New Orleans Musicians Clinic does not get the funding it needs to continue?

A: Sadly, you can see what will happen by taking a look at the cuts the Clinic has already been forced to make:

* Psychological counseling services – so important after a catastrophe like the levee failures – have been eliminated entirely:
* The mobile health clinic and Wednesday night walk-in clinic service has been cut to the bone
* Dental care allocations have been cut 50%
* Lab work is no longer provided
* Outreach and office hours have been reduced
* The “Gig Fund” which pays musicians to perform at local nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and community events has already been radically cut.

And this is just the beginning…if we do not succeed in getting the word out. If you can, give and give as generously as you can. If it’s not possible for you at this time, please spread the word.

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Ave.performing ‘Backatown’ at Louisiana Music Factory – april 2010.

These videos are only a few examples of the living spirit of  New Orleans Music – so help to save the music clinic!

PLEASE HELP THE WETLANDS

This oil disaster is a nightmare that is slowly unfolding and nobody knows how the final outcome is going to be. But one thing is sure, the most beautiful wetlands in the world is about to be destroyed in front of our eyes and how its going to end up with the seafood industry and more i don`t even wanna think about.

The wetlands has been eroding piece by piece since long by man-made erosion causing the wetlands (which also are natural protective barriers against storm surges) about the size of a football plane to disappear every half hour. And added to that we now have this river of oil that just keeps gushing out in the gulf.

I don`t even like the word “oil-spill” which makes it sound small, while in reality its big enough to be seen from space.

There´s a new analysis from seafloor video indicating that nearly 70,000 barrels are gushing out every day – which is “the equivalent of one Exxon Valdez tanker every four days.” And where it is or where its going – nobody really knows. You can read about that here.

To lend a helping hand with the clean-up of the oil mess you can donate here.

A little is better than nothing, and many “a little” will become big.

Here´s a beautiful song –  “La grace du Ciel” performed by Southwest Louisiana singing group, Les Amies Louisianaises and some very beautiful photography.

The Hotel Grunewald, Roosevelt and Fairmont – Over 100 Years of Cocktail History

sazeracs4

Let`s go to New Orleans…and let´s go back in time…

If you are interested in the history and folklore attached to the great New Orleans hotels that have gone by the names Grunewald, Roosevelt, Fairmont – and once again, the Roosevelt – then this is the seminar for you. From the Cave and Blue Room to the Sazerac Bar – this seminar will take you on a trip that breathes history starting somewhere in the 1893s up to present day.

There will also be a focus on the drinks – from the Sazerac, the Ramos Gin Fizz, and many other great cocktails like the Bayou Swizzle – to authentic artifacts, menus, authentic glasseware, advertisements, matchbooks, etc which will be displayed.

Here´s your chance to learn about the colorful history of these historic venues and their cocktails and much more. The session is moderated by Philip Greene and panelist is Chris McMillan – so you`re really in for a treat.

Seriously – don`t miss this!

Philip Greene is an attorney, writer and cocktail historian. As one of the founders of the Museum of the American Cocktail (based in New Orleans), he serves as treasurer and legal counsel, and is on the Board of Directors. Phil is an attorney in Washington, DC, serving as Trademark and Internet Counsel to the U.S. Marine Corps at the Pentagon.

Having deep ancestral roots in New Orleans,  Philip is well versed in its history and rich cocktail and culinary traditions. His Orleanian ancestors include Antoine Amedee Peychaud, the creator of Peychaud’s Bitters and the original Sazerac cocktail.

Chris McMillian Descends from four generations of bartenders and is native to Louisiana. Chris is now partnering with acclaimed chefs Allison Vines-Rushing and her husband Slade Rushing at the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel where McMillian entertains his guests with outstanding classic drinks and often treats them to a lesson in cocktail history as well.  Much of his work has been used to tell the story of the American Cocktail and its place in history.

When he is not conducting mixology seminars in New Orleans for guests and locals, he can be found at national and international events as a guest speaker. He is also one of the original founders of the Museum of the American Cocktail.

Moderator: Phillip Greene
Panelist: Chris McMillan

Sun, 25 July 2010
The Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone

Check out all the details and get your tickets on the Tales of the Cocktail`s website.