Marlin Gusman and Charles Foti are the men who want to be New Orleans’ next sheriff. Gusman is the current sheriff of Orleans Parish Prison; Foti the former sheriff. Both ran for sheriff in New Orleans’ recent election. Now they're in a contentious runoff.
Today we asked them to put the swords down for an hour and talk about leadership and the future of crime, punishment and reform in the Crescent City.
Which of these men is the leader who can reform OPP? Which can reform a troubled system, one that for decades has often been described as overcrowded, ruthless and inhumane... infamous for being the prison that holds the most number of prisoners per capita nationwide. Which man is the leader, who can bring this institution, decimated by Katrina, into a future that lives up to Federal guidelines? Which can build a collaborative partnership with the city and state, and meet our citizens' expectations?
If you missed the debate, please listen to the podcast… then you decide who should be New Orleans' next Sheriff.
When I first moved to New Orleans in 1975, I lived in Fat City for the first six months. I loved my apartment, filled with other young working people. And the management let me have my sixty pound Bassett Hound, Horatio, which not all rentals were allowing. I didnt know much about New Orleans, but I felt safe there, I walked the dog at ten o'clock at night.
I loved it there. It was close to the Mall, some good restaurants… there was a grocery store and a dry cleaners right around the corner.
I moved when my schedule changed, and I was working the late news on WWL-TV, but I have good memories of my early days in the Severn corridor.
So it was sad seeing how Fat City deteriorated over a period of time… shocking, actually.
What happened? But, more importantly, what is happening now to reverse the negative course to make it a safe, fun place to live again?
The answer is a lot… a lot is happening. The Severn corridor is on track to be reinvented. We’re talking tree-line streets, wider sidewalks, more greenery, bike lanes, pedestrian friendly pathways, and mini parks with benches.
It’s been called the “number one priority area for redevelopment”…and laws enacted to change the vision and reality of an important part of Metairie. Jefferson Parish officials hired a New York urban planner to help redevelop a growth strategy for Fat City.
It is my personal belief that if every time we got a paycheck, we had to turn around ourselves write a check to the Federal government. Add to that a check to the state; a check to Social Security; a check to Medicare; then our property taxes too. And even more, a general check for sales taxes. We would have a clear understanding every month of the amount of money you give up for taxes.
If we saw those checks written monthly I would, we would go ballistic!
When you think of the money that is lost in the deep hole of Washington D.C. it is horrendous; and it is our money! We don’t see it in our paychecks; so sometimes we don’t miss it. But if we had to write those checks monthly, it would be a real honest-to-God revolution. When we pay Federal, State, Social Security, Medicare, property, sales taxes - all for what exactly? How big a return are we really getting on those investments?
And how can you have a 20,000 page tax code that increases every year? I want to know who ever read it! But we allow this folly to go on.
I’m for a straight tax. Are you? Just imagine if every American paid a flat 15% tax? I can hear the screaming lobbyists now…
Thanks for letting me vent, this has been a bee in my bonnet for a while now! Listen to today's podcast of our discussion with tax experts below!
We all know what happened when the housing bubble burst. Our economy went into a death spiral that six years later, we are only now coming out of. But according to a recent Bloomberg Businessweek report there is another threat on the horizon; a one trillion dollar student loan debt with an almost 12% delinquency rate.
Those loans are mostly backed by the United States government, which means for every loan not paid by the individuals who took it out… we the taxpayer write the check.
For those who continue to pay twenty, thirty, fifty or one hundred thousand-dollar loans, it may well mean they are not buying a house or a car or many things that might be considered the making of the American dream. It’s a serious problem, and what we need to discuss is the solution.
The New Orleans Saints…win or lose…have given this community, this state more thrills than any other entity. This team pulls us together in BAD times and helps us create so many GOOD times. The Saints are the players and the coaches, but at its core is the man who believed in the team when he bought it.
Tom Benson has taken a team that didn’t know what winning was and turned it into a Super Bowl champion. He did it methodically by hiring the right people…and never losing sight of the goal. And, now he’s established a new goal for his NBA team—the New Orleans Pelicans. One can only think…this is how he lived his life.
Tom Benson is a self-made man, who must have had dreams as a child growing up in New Orleans…dreams as a young man building his future and goals of being a success. He has accomplished them all.
And, now, he and his wife, Gayle, have become a charitable force in New Orleans. Together as a team they continue to touch the lives of so many, whether it’s through their donations to education, healthcare, the arts or their church.
Our community would simply not be the same without them.
Give the podcast a listen and pass it on to all your Who Dat friends and family. Listen here
Last week, a man was buried sitting on his Harley in a plexiglass coffin. His family followed his wishes and even built the casket themselves. Across the country another man told his family he wanted a “green funeral.” Just a simple pine box, no embalming and they skipped the gas guzzling hearse.
The Diocese of Albany, New York has set aside a wildflower filled meadow to bury those who chose a “green burial.” Wildlife will walk among the flowers.
And in the New Orleans area a new store opened in the Esplanade Mall called “When We Meet Again.” You can order customized caskets…top sellers may well be Who Dat and LSU versions.
It’s all about a changing world in death care. How do you want to say goodbye? Are you a traditionalist? Or are you thinking out of the box? No pun intended.
It’s something we should be thinking about. Cremation or burial? Traditional funeral or personalized celebration? Pine box or a one of a kind casket? What about a GREEN burial?
Why not be prepared?
Note: If you miss the show, check out the podcasts. Our guests: Jonathan LaHatte, former Orleans parish sheriff’s deputy/partner in “Till We Meet Again” casket store in Esplanade Mall; Mark Coudrain, Manager of St. Joseph Abby Woodworks; Boyd Moth, Jr, district governor of the South District of Louisiana Funeral Directors Association & 5th generation at Mothe Funeral Home.