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Angela Hill

 Email: angela@wwl.com
Twitter: @AHillWWL


Angela: What do we do about the gutter punks?

You've seen them in the French Quarter, Marigny and Bywater, accosting and menacing tourists and locals for money, restaurant leftovers, and sometimes even drugs.

You've seen them at the riverfront, sleeping and drinking in the grass.

You've seen them in the neutral grounds across the city, panhandling for change on major thoroughfares.

They're gutter punks, sometimes also called "crusties" and "oogles," and according to some who live and work in the area, they are becoming more aggressive.

They squat in abandoned buildings, usually traveling in packs, and this particular strain of homeless person and their dogs have thoroughly permeated downtown New Orleans, much to the alarm of residents, businesses and tour guides.

Dianne Honore, a French Quarter tour guide, was in the news recently when one of her tours was practically attacked by a group of gutter punks, who grabbed at high-school age kids demanding drugs and getting in a physical altercation with the groups' chaperones. Dianne contacted police but her experience in getting justice or answers for the attack has not been satisfactory, to say the least.

As New Orleans becomes one of the biggest vacation & convention cities in the world, how do we handle this?

For answers, I turned to Edward Bonin and Elizabeth Jones from the "Drop-In Center" at the Tulane School of Medicine, which provides medical and social services for runaway and homeless youths. We also spoke to Officer John Dobard, who is with the NOPD Crime Prevention Unit.

So who are the gutter punks?

"These kids come in a couple different subgroups; they have local homeless kids and traveling kids that travel across the country and start coming here in October," said Mr. Bonin. "The weather is pleasant so they tend to flock down here. It's easy for them to obtain alcohol, drugs and spare change. We don't typically see a lot a violent behavior from that group of kids."

Elizabeth Jones echoed that sentiment. "I feel like they are a misunderstood population, and I feel like sometimes people go in with the notion that they are aggressive drug and aclohol users, so you expect nothing from them and you can't see who that person really is."

Is it a choice to be gutter punk?

"Sometimes," they told me. "A large percentage of these young kids are aging out of foster care, and when they turn 18, they are just put out in the street. They don't have the wherewithal to nagivate these different systems that are available to them, and thats how then you end up in the streets. Some are traveling just to see the country. Not to say that they cant be aggressive or violent, we just don't see that as much."

When we see these young people in the Quarter and they're coming toward you and displaying aggression, what are we supposed to do?

"They're aggressive because that is their nature in terms of getting what they're looking for, so therefore, you should make sure that if you are approached one of them, stay out of their reach, keep moving, and contact the police department. If they put their hands on you, and you believe there is the potentional for them to do bodily harm, they will be subject to arrest," said Officer Dobard.

It is a fascinating look at a complex issue that touches on compassion, public safety, homelessness, personal responsibility and more. Take a listen to the whole interview by clicking the link below.

FULL AUDIO: Angela talks about gutter punks

Photo via tuppus, Flickr

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Angela: Help with sexual wellness is available, you just have to speak up!

Dr. Neil Baum has been a friend of "An Open Mind" ever since we started last fall, helping us understand medical issues that can affect our sex lives.

He spent a whole hour talking to WWL listeners today and pointed out that oftentimes, when it comes to sexual problems, women are suffering in silence, even though sexual dysfunction is more common in women than it is in men.

So what are the problems women are facing, and why can't we speak out about it? It seems like every time you turn on the television or radio you hear an ad for a product that helps men with erectile dysfunction. Where is the help for women? Products to help women are just now starting to crack through, but haven't gone mainstream yet.

So many men are having an open and honest dialogue with each other and their doctors, it is easy for them to speak out on these topics, but the lack of dialogue concercing female sexual dysfunction is holding women back. But it doesn't have to be that way!

"Women who have problems with enjoyment, who have problems with dryness, who have problems with decreased libido are afraid to bring it up with their physicians. There are things that can be done for these women, and they should be encouraged to talk to their doctors," Dr. Baum said. "Women have to understand that help is available for them, and they don't have to suffer in silence."

Is there Viagra for women?

"Right now, there is not. But there are things that can be done for decrease in drive for women, those whose interest is waning. It is primarily hormone-driven."

Could hormone replacement therapy help your sex life? It's not for everyone, but no matter what stage of life you are in, it's imperative that you talk to your doctor, because there are options that can help you restore your love life.

One woman calls in to talk about her experience at "The Vagina Clinic," where she found good medical advice from professionals tailored to her needs. Another man calls in with a question about testicular pain, and another with a question about fertility treatments

Everyone should take a moment to listen to the full interview - hear from men and women who have problems that may mirror those in your own life, or in the lives of your loved ones.

Bottom line? Talk to your Doctor!

FULL AUDIO: Angela talks to Dr. Neil Baum about sexual dysfunction and wellness

Thank you for listening and good luck!

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Angela: More and more men are getting plastic surgery. Why not?

Who said women are the only ones who care about their looks?

Looking good, looking younger and looking healthier is not just for women anymore. More and more men are seeking botox, fillers, laser hair removal, skin tightening, fat reduction, liposuction, eyelid surgery & face lifts... you name it. Why not? Women have done it for decades.

Today I spoke with plastic surgeon Dr. Kamran Khoobehi and Dr. Kate Holcomb of the Lupo Center about the recent trend of men receiving plastic surgery. One of the first questions I asked was: When men come in for plastic surgery, what are they looking for?

"There are many different reasons they come in, and you can see from different age groups," Dr. Khoobehi said. "The most common are the patients that have had changes in life, and want to have changes in appearance as well. Maybe they are applying for new job, or just want a new look. Another group comes in because they are exercising a lot and want to get rid of love handles. They spend a lot of time the in the gym, especially in the 40+ age group, when its much harder to lose that extra fat and they want a little help getting rid of it."

Are men also getting procedures like face lifts?

"Typically for men, its a little bit less. We focus more on the lower face and neck area. Sometimes when patients have extensive procedures, they can look fake, or over done. When that happens with ladies, they can cover it with makeup. Men have to be more conservative, more careful. So you limit those producers in men compares to ladies."

If you're man, would you do whatever it takes to look and feel great? And, ladies, would you encourage your husband, boyfriend, brother, son or father to have a cosmetic procedure? Take a listen to the rest of the interview and tell me what you think in the comments!

FULL AUDIO: Angela on men and plastic surgery
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Angela: More and more men are getting plastic surgery. Why not?

Who said women are the only ones who care about their looks?

Looking good, looking younger and looking healthier is not just for women anymore. More and more men are seeking botox, fillers, laser hair removal, skin tightening, fat reduction, liposuction, eyelid surgery & face lifts... you name it. Why not? Women have done it for decades.

Today I spoke with plastic surgeon Dr. Kamran Khoobehi and Dr. Kate Holcomb of the Lupo Center about the recent trend of men receiving plastic surgery. One of the first questions I asked was: When men come in for plastic surgery, what are they looking for?

"There are many different reasons they come in, and you can see from different age groups," Dr. Khoobehi said. "The most common are the patients that have had changes in life, and want to have changes in appearance as well. Maybe they are applying for new job, or just want a new look. Another group comes in because they are exercising a lot and want to get rid of love handles. They spend a lot of time the in the gym, especially in the 40+ age group, when its much harder to lose that extra fat and they want a little help getting rid of it."

Are men also getting procedures like face lifts?

"Typically for men, its a little bit less. We focus more on the lower face and neck area. Sometimes when patients have extensive procedures, they can look fake, or over done. When that happens with ladies, they can cover it with makeup. Men have to be more conservative, more careful. So you limit those producers in men compares to ladies."

If you're man, would you do whatever it takes to look and feel great? And, ladies, would you encourage your husband, boyfriend, brother, son or father to have a cosmetic procedure? Take a listen to the rest of the interview and tell me what you think in the comments!

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