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New Orleans pulls 46 tons of Mardi Gras beads from storm drains

Reuters

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The colorful beaded necklaces that are a signature of New Orleans’ annual Mardi Gras celebration have left the city known as “The Big Easy” with a big mess.

New Orleans city officials said on Thursday that more than 46 tons – or 93,000 pounds – of Carnival beads were among 7.2 million pounds of trash pulled from clogged catch basins along a five-block stretch of a downtown parade route, the Times-Picayune newspaper reported.

“Once you hear a number like that, there’s no going back,” Dani Galloway, interim director of the city’s Department of Public Works, said during a news conference on Thursday. “So we’ve got to do better.”

REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

A representative from the city’s public works department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

The removal was part of a four-month project in response to heavy flooding in the city in August, the newspaper reported. The effectiveness of the city’s drainage systems came under fire after an Aug. 5 storm dumped up to 6 inches (15 cm) of rain, causing street flooding and underpasses to fill up.

The clean-up effort between late September and late January cleared about 15,000 of the city’s estimated 68,000 storm drains, the newspaper reported. The Mardi Gras beads were found along the St. Charles Avenue parade route.

Mardi Gras is celebrated on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of Lent, a period of reflection and abstinence on the Catholic calendar.

By tradition, Mardi Gras, which is French for “Fat Tuesday,” is a day that calls for excessive partying in preparation for the somber season of sacrifice to follow.

Mardi Gras falls on Feb. 13 this year.

Partygoers are known to wear and toss beads – known as “throws” in New Orleans – from the streets and balconies in the French Quarter, Bourbon Street and other areas where partiers jostle through crowds.

At the news conference, Galloway asked residents to help clear catch basins and said the department was considering preventative methods, such as temporarily installing “gutter buddies” to keep the carnival beads from rolling down the drain.

(Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; editing by Colleen Jenkins and G Crosse)

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Better than the Weekend Actually Got Nominated for Something

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Adobe Stock

Well, two things, actually.

And this shit got me in my feelings.

When I found out Better than the Weekend was nominated for two Steamtown Music Awards, I was just happy to be invited to a work affair happening at a bar. The annual event celebrates the talent and hard work of regional musicians and entertainment industry professionals set in Northeastern Pennsylvania — and BTTW is nominated for Publication/Blog of the Year and Journalist of the Year. (Directions on how to vote at the end of the article.)

As the founder of an online publication still in its early development, getting recognized by the community and being in the company of publications that have been around in our HQ city for as long as 25 years is pretty rad and a solid win on its own.

When I launched BTTW in the summer of 2016, I wanted to create an online community of people who want an escape from the negative bullshit in their lives and need help getting through the week. And the way that community continues to grow is by focusing on sharing stories about who people really are outside of their IG feed and how they live their lives. Because understanding each other and finding common interests and values is how we connect and feel less alone in the world.

There was the time I spoke to a white college-educated liberal who wanted Donald Trump to be the next president. The Associated Press even circulated that story.

Then there was the time I visited a sleepaway camp for grownups. That might be the greatest place to unplug and make great new friends. Ever.

There was also the time BTTW hosted and moderated Scranton’s first-ever live streamed political debate with candidates running for public office or the time we threw an epic election party.

All the while, musicians from Northeastern PA have been part of that story, whether it was with a live performance at our office or a BTTW hangout —

Live entertainment at the HQ for Scranton’s First Friday with Mike Baresse

Posted by Better than the Weekend on Friday, April 6, 2018

 

— or having discussions with musicians beyond their music; deep from the soul. This is SMA nominee Jami Kali posing for ‘Dreams, Exposed,’ photographed by nominee Lisa Petz. 

To vote Better than the Weekend for Publication of the Year and me (Justin Adam Brown) for Journalist of the Year, click this link to be directed to the event’s Facebook page. Scroll down to the Recent Posts and you’ll find the categories and be able to vote.

If you’re from Northeastern PA, vote for your favorites. If you’re not, vote for everyone!

Win or lose, I’m just happy BTTW is capturing your attention.

I’ll be at the event Thursday, Sept. 13 at The V Spot in Scranton rooting on all the nominees and celebrating their hard work. Hope you’ll make it, too.

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Dickhead Jogger Arrested for Throwing Homeless Man’s Belongings in Lake

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A video went viral of a jogger taking time out of his day to throw a homeless man’s belongings into a lake. The jogger has since been identified as 31-year-old Henry William Sintay by The Mercury News and was arrested. He’s currently being held on $100,000 bail.

The dickhead move made by the dickhead jogger happened by Meritt Lake in Oakland, California, on Friday, June 8. A witness named JJ Harris filmed the incident as a woman tried to stop the dickhead jogger. This video is messed up on so many levels — and not only because his thicc dad bod doesn’t suggest he has time to stop mid-jog to try to end homelessness.

Watch this:

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Starbucks will close 8,000 stores May 29 for racial-bias training

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Starbucks says it will close its 8,000 company-owned stores in the United States for one afternoon to educate employees about racial bias.

“I’ve spent the last few days in Philadelphia with my leadership team listening to the community, learning what we did wrong and the steps we need to take to fix it,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement.

“While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution,” he said. “Closing our stores for racial bias training is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local communities.”

The announcement follows the controversial arrest of two black men who were waiting for a friend at a Philadelphia Starbucks last week after the store manager called the police. They were arrested for trespassing. The customers said they were waiting for another man to arrive. That person arrived at the store just as they were being arrested.

Starbucks’ CEO publicly apologized repeatedly following the arrests, which he called “reprehensible.”

Sherrilyn Ifill, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, will be among the help to design the program, as will executives from the Equal Justice Initiative and Demos, to roughly 175,000 Starbucks employees.

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