May/June Trumpet Magazine
Theme: Community Service and Neighborhood Wellness
Neighborhood Spotlight: Lakeview
Release Party: May 4 @ 5:30 p.m. – 8p.m.
Deadline April 30
By Trumpet Staff
The deadline is April 30 for the city’s summer recreation and job opportunities for New Orleans youth that is offered by JOB1, and the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission.
“Creating meaningful summer opportunities for all of our kids is a top priority for our administration,” said Mayor Landrieu recently. “Our best tool in improving our economy and reducing crime is by investing in activities for our youth which is why we doubled funding for recreation in 2011 and have completely revamped the summer jobs program. We now have opportunities for youth ages 4-21 with a new focus on teens. We must ensure that our youth will have world-class recreation, work, and educational opportunities that are worthy of their great promise – now and for all future generations. That’s why this improvement in summer programming is so important.”
JOB1 Summer NOLA Experience
The revamped JOB1 Summer NOLA Experience aims to provide quality summer opportunities to 2,000 teenage youth, (ages 14-21), to cultivate a career-ready workforce by providing meaningful skill-building support, career exploration and access to entry level jobs in high-demand industries. Landrieu increased funding from previous summer jobs programs from $1 million in 2010 serving 1,000 youth to $2.7 million in 2011. All programs range from 6-7 weeks.
As such, these programs are intended to have long-lasting and long-term impact on each participant. Youth participants will gain experience that helps them refine and advance their career goals while also earning a paycheck.
Through deliberate program design, cross-sector collaborations and strategic incentives, the Summer NOLA Experience will host four distinct program opportunities: Traditional Summer Jobs, Signature Programs, Intern NOLA and Work and Learn program. Each program is targeted to meet an observed need in the community.
The Traditional Summer Jobs program will serve 16 to 21 year-olds who, with some initial training, require minimal oversight and direction. This program has been strategically modified to broaden the types of placements we are able to offer youth.
Approximately 1,000 participants can expect to be engaged in a youth-friendly environment and receive hands-on work experience that is reflective of the job-site placement. Job duty options include clerical, child care, maintenance, customer service, landscaping, sales, culture and tourism, hospitality, banking, parks and recreation, as well as jobs at Audubon Zoo and Aquarium.
The Signature Program is a compilation of unique summer experiences. Each Signature Program will serve a large subset of participants though one entity. Every program is designed in collaboration with the partnering organization in order to maximize the effectiveness of placements.
Signature Programs will offer flagship training for participants and unique branding opportunities for the City and our partners in the areas of architecture, science, biomedical careers, computer programming, and community service.
The Intern NOLA program retains local talent and engages the private business sector by offering high-quality internship opportunities to local residents ages 18-21.
Internship positions will focus on research and short-term projects that provide impact to the host organization. Participants in this program will be selected to participate based on their responses to a supplemental application. Participants can expect to receive a high-quality intern experience in a local business, firm, or public office. Intern sectors include business, city government, education, finance, health care, human services, and philanthropy.
The Work and Learn program serves our youngest youth, ages 14-15 years old, through incentivized learning, project-based learning, and service learning opportunities. Work and Learn is important because most of our 14-15 year old participants still require a lot of oversight and direct instruction in order to complete work-place tasks.
Additionally, many are performing below grade level academically and would benefit greatly from academic support. Most participants in the Work and Learn program will receive grade-level specific instruction half of their day and spend the remaining time doing career exploration, job-readiness and project-based learning. Activities include but are not limited to culinary arts, visual arts, media arts, cosmetology, theater, and community service.
Additionally, the city is launching a seminar series that will afford every participant 2-3 opportunities over the course of the summer to participate in seminars tailored to the needs of our youth.
New Orleans Recreation Development Commission, (NORDC)
The primary goals of the public-private partnership include creating a sustainable, permanent governance structure; providing governance that includes key stakeholders from the private sector, schools, and city government; and, creating a structure to allow the recreation department to leverage city resources with private funds, grants, and other funding opportunities.
In December, Landrieu announced that the city entered into an agreement with the American Red Cross Southeast Louisiana Chapter to fund a year-round swimming lesson and lifeguard training program, under the direction of NORDC, to include:
Additionally, NORDC will offer 31 kiddie (ages 4-12) camps which will serve at least 4,625 kids across the city through partnerships with schools, non-profits and faith-based organizations.
In 2010, 1663 kids were served through kiddie camps at four city locations. There will be 7 teen camps, (ages 13-17) which will serve 1000 teens across the city.
There were no teen camps last year. In partnership with JOB1, teen camps will offer local teenagers career exploration seminars to allow for exposure to a variety of job fields. Additionally, teens will earn a stipend of $75 per week.
Sign up for teen camps and jobs are underway Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at two locations: 3400 Tulane Ave. and 3520 General De Gaulle, Suite 1030. Partnerships between NORDC teen camps and JOB1 allow there to be a streamlined registration process for youth ages 13-21, along with the city's Kiddie camp, which started this month.
“Today marks another step in ensuring that New Orleans youth are provided with quality, well-designed opportunities each summer,” said Landrieu. “We have the leadership, vital new programming, and public investment in place to make a real impact in every neighborhood in our city.”
READ YOUTH SUMMER EMPLOYMENT GUIDE HERE: http://www.nola.gov/PRESS/City-Of-New-Orleans/All-Articles/~/media/BDF18DBA77C9429C9BC26336559BDC53.ashx
By J. Samuel Cook, Trumpet Contributor
When I became director of a local non-profit in June 2010, I assumed the position with reckless aplomb.
Overly confident in my ability to cut the organization into prosperity, and recognizing the tough economic times non-profit organizations were facing, I set an ambitious goal by trimming the organization’s roughly $150,000 annual operations budget down to less than $90,000, excluding salaries and benefits. Within days of beginning, I made tough cuts to areas such as printing, postage, vendor services and professional development, scaling back the operations budget by thousands. The loss of a staff member, though ordinarily a painful experience, provided further budget savings by not hiring a replacement. The organization had streamlined its operations, cut waste, trimmed the fat, learned to do more with less, or any other idiom used in the private sector to indicate cuts in operations.
And then, an unnerving e-mail arrived that was forwarded from a project manager: an outstanding, one-year-old vendor’s bill totaling nearly $1,000 demanded remuneration.
I was floored.
It wasn’t exactly that anyone had been irresponsible; rather, a simple computing error had resulted in non-payment of the vendor’s bill.
Then, after a heavy rain, I came in to work on a Monday to find that the roof had collapsed. Another $1,000 for repairs.
Then, all four computers in the center’s resource lab then crashed, racking up another $160 bill.
Then, a toilet malfunction resulted in a nearly $500 sewage and water bill.
Suddenly, my “cut, cut, cut” rhetoric hit the reality of an organization that, already on a shoestring budget, had been able to afford little general upkeep in its nearly three-year existence.
As an executive, it’s important to look at real-world business experience as Washington prepares to tackle its $14 trillion debt, (amount of money borrowed and currently owed) and its deficit, (the shortfall between income and expenditures) of more than $1.5 trillion—and why applying a business model to the nation’s fiscal issues won’t work.
Let’s be clear: It’s important to note that the nation’s debt and deficit are cumulative. They are not the result of profligate spending on the part of President Obama since taking office in January 2009. Congress has run a deficit each year since 1969, prompting the Treasury Department to borrow money to meet appropriations demands. And despite heated partisan rhetoric, this has been true of both Republican and Democrat presidents. And so, the nation’s $14 trillion debt is the result of 42-years worth of borrowing to meet the nation’s demands.
Just as the nearly $1,000 vendor’s bill that came across my desk had to be paid, despite the fact that it was for an expenditure that I’d not personally authorized, the president inherited a $1.2 trillion deficit before signing a single law, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
It is true that former President George W. Bush inherited a budget surplus. How then, did he leave office with a massive deficit? It comes down to a couple of factors: First, how the government operates and, secondly, how government expenditures are financed.
As much as voters, who are disgruntled by the economy’s sluggish recovery indicate they’d like to elect a president with executive experience, the government does not operate in the same way a business does. There are similarities between the private sector and the government, but there are stark differences as well. Businesses exist to turn a profit, and only provide products or services when doing so is profitable.
Government, on the other hand, fundamentally exists to promote human welfare. In order to remain solvent, a business must sell a product or service. It must sell enough of that product or service that its income exceeds it expenses. By selling those products or services, a private business is then able to meet its financial obligations. If one product doesn’t work, a business can change its product offerings. It can expand its market or reach out to new consumers. It can merge with more, (or less) lucrative companies, and there is a wide array of money-making options for private sector businesses.
For the government, “revenue” is taxes. In order to meet its obligations, whether it be Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, the government collects taxes based upon one’s income, (a progressive tax). Those taxes then fund government projects such as bridges and roads, the United States military, Veterans benefits and education.
While President Bush inherited a $236 billion surplus, several initiatives under his leadership, including Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind, were either poorly funded or not funded at all. The largest drivers of the Bush-era deficit, however, were dual wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which cost taxpayers roughly $10 billion a month.
It is important to note here that, historically, the United States has raised taxes during times of international conflict in order to pay for the costs of war dating back to the Civil War era. Not only did President Bush not raise taxes in order to finance Middle-East conflicts, he also lowered taxes twice during his administration through the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, and Job and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.
As a result of reduced revenue and increased costs, the exorbitant cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan not only eliminated any budget surplus Bush inherited, but ultimately resulted in a deficit.
Even taking into account the fiscal irresponsibility of the Bush Era, the blame is not his alone. Each president and each Congress since Richard Nixon has directly contributed to the nation’s $14 trillion debt.
And in order to fix this 42-year-old debt, it will take a comprehensive approach to both the nation’s spending and revenue problems that involves both revenue increases and cutting unnecessary spending. While the compromised $38 billion in spending cuts brokered by President Obama was a promising sign, it is unconscionable that Congress should only make cuts to education programs and jobs training.
This is particularly offensive when the Defense budget in 2010 exceeded $700 billion, but the Department of Education Budget in that same year was less than $100 billion.
If we’re truly going to put America back on the path to prosperity, it’s going to require a whole lot more honesty and a whole lot less demagoguery from our elected officials regarding real solutions to solving the debt crisis. The United States could cut all discretionary spending from its budget, and would only have cut about 14 percent of its spending. Increasing revenue isn’t an end-all, be-all either. But taxes for all income levels are at their lowest level since the 1950s despite increased appropriations commitments.
And for all the fear-mongering about reckless social welfare spending, a recent report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States ranks dead last in spending on social welfare programs, spending a mere 7.2 percent of its gross domestic product on its social contract with its people, (as an example of the dissonance between social welfare spending and national debt is Canada, which spends 26 percent of its GDP on social welfare programs ,and has substantially less debt than the U.S.).
It’s clear, then, that a comprehensive approach that examines areas of waste, fraud and abuse in government spending and increases revenue to meet the demands of a 21-century economy and to maintain American exceptionalism at a time when the United States trails other developed nations in education, ranks fourth in the world for economic competitiveness, and has an infrastructure which is rapidly crumbling.
The U.S. once led the world in education, economy and infrastructure, and we can again—but we cannot and will not do so by neglecting necessary investments to ensure international competitiveness or by whittling away at the social safety nets which have ensured a quality standard of living for our seniors, our disabled and our disinherited.
It’s a delicate balancing act, but we are a nation that has a long history of rising to meet the challenges of the day.
This time, the threat is not from a malevolent-opposing nation or foreign-born terrorists.
Rather, we must meet the challenge of defining who we wish to be as a nation and the social contract we wish to have with all Americans.
At the city's District D meeting in Gentilly on April 19, the councilmembers said they are not going to develop any alternatives for the proposed districts until after the community redistricting meetings are held.
After they develop these alternatives, the councilmembers said the only public meetings will be with the City Council Committee, which is responsible for the redistricting efforts. But, the committee will not host any more community meetings, so the community redistricting meetings will be the only opportunity for residents to share their opinions with councilmembers.
This is the schedule for the City Council district redistricting meetings. All of the meetings are from 6 p.m. to 7:30pm.
You can visit the City Council calendar for more information on these meetings: http://www.nolacitycouncil.com/content/calendar/default.asp?YYMM=1104&id=53
District ‘D’ Redistricting Meeting
Wednesday, April 20
St. Maria Goretti Church – 7300 Crowder Blvd.
District ‘B’ Redistricting Meeting
Thursday, April 21
Grace Episcopal Church – 3700 Canal St.
District ‘C’ Redistricting Meeting
Monday, April 25
Holy Angels Church – 3500 St. Claude Ave.
District ‘B’ Redistricting Meeting
Tuesday, April 26
Sacred Heart Nims Arts Center – 3901 St. Charles Ave.
District ‘A’ Redistricting Meeting
Monday, May 9
Myra Clare Rogers Chapel – 1229 Broadway St.
District ‘C’ Redistricting Meeting
Tuesday, May 10
Delgado Community College – 2600 General Meyer Ave.
District ‘A’ Redistricting Meeting
Thursday, May 12
First Baptist Church – 5290 Canal Blvd.
District ‘E’ Redistricting Meeting
Tuesday, May 17
St. Maria Goretti Church – 7300 Crowder Blvd.
District ‘E’ Redistricting Meeting
Thursday, May 19
All Souls Episcopal Church – 5500 St. Claude Ave.
For more updates, visit http://www.npnnola.com/all_news/ or The Trumpet Blog at
Bronze Level: $25 provides enough rice to feed 30 families nutritious grains for a week at our food pantry.
Silver Level: $100 buys enough nonperishable dried beans to supply 150 families with protein for 1 week.
Gold Level: $250 pays for 200 lbs of chicken thighs so that low-income families are able to eat a healthy diet.
Platinum Level: $1200 pays for the Center's utility bills for 1 month so that we can continue to help families in need.
2011 is off to a great start here at the Community Center. We've certainly been busy, putting in a new garden, painting and decorating the waiting room, trying out some new programs like homework help and exercise classes, and getting ready for our 5th Anniversary Celebration. Here are some of the ways we've been helping local families during the past 3 months:
And this list wouldn't be complete without a big THANK YOU to all the volunteers and AmeriCorps team members who've put in an incredible 2,173 hours so far this year to make all this possible. With your help, 2011 is shaping up to be an exciting year, and we're looking forward to doing even more in the months ahead!
Starting tomorrow, the summit will be observing the one year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill by gathering together hundreds of Gulf Coast leaders and residents to empower a healthy and economically vibrant U.S. Gulf Coast. See our powerful program below.
Will you be part of the solution?
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Follow the live blogging and tweeting during the event.
Follow @gulfcoastsummit and bookmark the summit blog:
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*Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #gulfsummit
(News from the Times-Picayune received today via NewCity Partnership )
As ground is broken today for new medical complex, new analysis criticizes project's scope
Published: Monday, April 18, 2011, 8:00 AM
Bill Barrow, The Times-Picayune The Times-Picayune
Some of Gov. Bobby Jindal's top lieutenants and a host of other dignitaries will don hard hats and drive ceremonial shovels into dirt today for an academic medical complex designed to put the New Orleans medical corridors in the same orbit as Houston and Birmingham, Ala.
David Grunfeld, The Times-PicayuneGov.
Bobby Jindal has announced that site preparation and early construction should begin even as the UMC board navigates how to finance the rest of the project beyond the $700 million-plus cash the state has committed.
Yet as they celebrate the long-awaited replacement for Charity Hospital, a new financial analysis of the planned University Medical Center offers a highly skeptical assessment of the 424-bed, $1.2 billion construction plan that state authorities and Louisiana State University System administrators have pushed for years.
"UMC, as currently envisioned, is materially larger than is supportable" in the existing New Orleans health care market, "an environment that promises to intensify in the future," according to the analysis from Kaufman, Hall & Associates, an Illinois firm that provides consulting services on health care financing.
The report comes on the heels of Jindal's announcement that site preparation and early construction should commence even as the UMC board navigates how to finance the rest of the project beyond the $700 million-plus cash the state has committed.
Kaufman Hall does not offer an absolute recommendation for a bed count or financing strategy, but the authors frame as likely a scenario that would warrant 332 beds, including both psychiatric and acute care. And even given those assumptions, Kaufman Hall projects a need for annual state general fund subsidies ranging from $72.5 million in 2015, the projected opening year, to as high as $108.4 million in 2019 and $100.7 million in 2020. The idea of direct state support for a teaching hospital is not at issue, but the amount is of particular interest given the long-term uncertainty of the state's finances.
Report commissioned by UMC board
Read the reports
The 83-page document is the latest in a long line of analyses contemplating the ideal size and scope for the hospital. But Kaufman Hall, selected by the University Medical Center governing board in December, is the first consultant not hired directly by either the state, which is responsible for construction, or LSU, which runs the existing charity hospital system, including Interim LSU Public Hospital.
The report also is the first to extend its detailed projections to 2020, well beyond the scheduled implementation of the federal health-care overhaul. Members of the UMC board appointed by entities other than LSU backed the hiring of Kaufman Hall with considerable emphasis.
During Gov. Kathleen Blanco's administration, the state and LSU projected a 484-bed hospital. A Jindal-commissioned review lowered that projection to 424 beds. A second Jindal study by Verite Healthcare Consulting ratified that conclusion but raised the state general fund subsidy forecasts. LSU administrators say that the larger scale is necessary to pool doctors, research teams and other resources on one campus to develop the kinds of programs that distinguish an elite academic hospital, while also generating income.
Still 'bullish on the hospital'
The report does not question whether a new teaching hospital should be built, and Louisiana Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein said, "I remain bullish on the hospital" even as he weighs all projections. Nonetheless, the findings are sure to recalibrate the discussion of exactly what the hospital should look like and how it should operate.
UMC Board Chairman Robert "Bobby" Yarborough said Friday the board will continue its business analysis independent of the Jindal administration's push to begin construction with the two-thirds equity committed to the project. He said Kaufman Hall analysts will attend the board's May 5 meeting "to pour over every page." Yarborough said he also expects the board will invite the authors of earlier projections to explain their work again.
Kaufman analysts have taken a more conservative view than previous consultants on several variables. Among the factors, Kaufman Hall projects a slower population growth in the surrounding region, meaning fewer patients for all hospitals to compete for, and posits that LSU physicians can steer 650 to 680 new insured patients -- commercial or Medicare -- rather than the 2,200 the university has projected. It also makes conservative assumptions about other federal revenue streams and the percentage of new Medicaid patients UMC would attract once the program expands under the new federal health-care law.
Greenstein, whom Jindal has designated as the administration's point man on the project, emphasized an argument that has spanned the terms of two governors: UMC is not intended as a Charity Hospital replacement but as a "new entity with its own business prerogatives," meaning an institution meant to be a "destination for patients throughout the region" regardless of their insurance status. He conceded the Kaufman point that attracting more commercially insured patients "would require a cultural change."
Kaufman Hall noted that Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes, the primary service area for the hospital, already have 2.83 beds per 1,000 residents, higher than the 2.7 national average. A 424-bed UMC, closing Interim LSU Hospital and opening a planned 40-bed hospital in Chalmette would bring that ratio to about 3 beds per 1,000 residents. The calculations don't include an 80-bed facility envisioned for the old Methodist Hospital in eastern New Orleans.
'I don't think it is big enough'
The analysis is at odds with what Jerry Jones, the state facilities chief, told the board at its inaugural meeting in August: "People ask are we building too big a hospital but, frankly, my personal feeling on that is I don't think it is big enough."
It was that confidence that state officials have used to justify buying and expropriating 34-plus acres in Mid-City, several city blocks more than what is needed for the complex as designed.
Yarborough said Friday: "There is a lot of disparity there. ... None of this is black-and-white. It's based on so many assumptions and variables that change, what becomes law, what doesn't. It will be a challenging process going forward, and we'll try to get it as right as possible and have this academic medical center at its best."
The question is how that affects the construction calendar. The University Medical Center Corp. was created in 2010 as a state-affiliated entity with the fiduciary responsibility for the hospital, including any debts, and management authority once the hospital opens. Yet Jones' office started planning the hospital -- with influence from LSU and a bevy of consultants -- long before the UMC board was seated.
Architects have completed designs. The state has hired the construction firm that will manage the project. Jones told the board earlier this month that the construction manager would by the early summer provide the state with a final estimate on construction based on the existing plans.
All of that could proceed, Jones said, even as J.P Morgan Chase advisers and other consultants hired previously by LSU continued to pursue federal government insurance for a potential bond sale. Under the ideal for UMC, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development would back the bonds, making the rate considerably lower and reducing annual payments to investors. The other option, which the Jindal administration announced when it called for an immediate construction launch, calls for the state to spend what it has on patient towers, diagnostic facilities and one parking deck, while contracting with a third party that would build an ambulatory care center, energy plant and second parking deck, leasing those facilities back to UMC.
Yarborough said he did not know whether the board's pace on a business plan and financing would affect Jones' schedule. He reiterated the board's ultimate authority in the matter, saying he sees no scenario under which the state forces construction of a hospital at odds with the board's preferences.
Jindal's place in the dynamic is unclear.
In January, Jindal predicted that "the hospital will be built" and that it would win the coveted HUD mortgage insurance. Yet by last week, with U.S. Sen. David Vitter continuing to hammer the plan as "unsustainable," Jindal's top appointee, Paul Rainwater -- also Jones' direct boss -- backed away from any bravado about bed count and noted the expected delivery of the Kaufman Hall report.
Yarborough and his colleagues, Rainwater said, would make the final call.
Bill Barrow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504.826.3452.
|U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu|
Senator Bob Graham
Co-Chairman, National Oil Spill Commission
Frances G. Beinecke
Member, National Oil Spill Commission
Member, National Oil Spill Commission
Terry D. Garcia
Member, National Oil Spill Commission
Louisiana State Senator
President, Plaquemines Parish
President, Jefferson Parish
Mayor, Orange Beach, Alabama
Commissioner, Escambia County, Florida
Daniel E. Becnel, Jr.
Partner, Becnel Law Firm
Gulf Coast Claims Facility
Administrator, Gulf Coast Claims Facility
Advanced Environmental Solutions