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New Orleans’ Jazz Festival will rock, swing, juke and jive..

By January 25, 2007music, new orleans

The New Orleans Jazz Fest schedule is up for this year, and it includes some major headliners such as Van Morrisson, Steely Dan, Brad Paisley, Norah Jones, Counting Crows, and Harry Connick, Jr.  The Fest takes place over two weekends: April 27 – 29 and May 4 – 6.  Check the official website for more information.

P.S. If you want a practice optimized for remote work & virtual collaboration, get this 24-page guide.


  • Vince says:



  • Sell yourselves out says:

    By Cain BurdeauJanuary 23, 2005The Associated Press & The Daily Comet

    Oil and natural gas speculators in coastal Louisiana won a legal victory last week when the Louisiana Supreme Court said that several companies are not obligated under the terms of their leases to fill in canals they dug in Terrebonne Parish.

    The parish school board filed a lawsuit in 1999 seeking to get several companies to knock down spoil banks and fill in canals dug through land it owned near Minors Canal. A state district judge and the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal sided with the school board.

    But on Wednesday, the high court in a 4-to-3 ruling overturned the lower courts and said that the under the original lease signed in 1963 between the school board and the lessee, at that time Shell Oil Co., there was no mention of returning the land to conditions similar to those before the lease was granted.

    The court said the companies — including Castex Energy, Bois d’Arc Corp., Fina Oil and Chemical Co., Samson Resources Co. — are not responsible for paying to fix the eventual land loss — about 28 acres — that the dredged canals caused as they widened and ate away at the marsh.

    In writing the majority opinion, Chief Justice Pascal Calogero acknowledged that the case had “proven to be difficult” because it pitted the state’s interest in restoring its tattered coast against “the equally important concerns of adherence to the law and respect for the rights of contracting parties.”

    He dismissed the “temptation … to thrust a great part of the solution to the problem of coastal restoration upon the oil and gas companies and other private parties.”

    “This is welcome news and it should certainly make the oil industry breathe a partial sigh of relief that they will not be obligated to back fill those navigating canals, or what we call location canals,” said Ralph Gipson, the office manager of C.H. Fenstermaker & Associates, a surveying company that does a lot of work in the coastal region for oil and gas operators.

    “It’s kind of like letting someone come onto your property and they damage it and they leave and they’re not responsible,” said Jack Moore, the school district’s risk manager. “It’s a unique perspective.”

    Since the 1950s, more than 8,000 miles of canals have been dug for oil exploration and shipping and scientists believe the canals caused 36 percent of land loss in coastal Louisiana. The state has lost 1,900 square miles since 1932.

    Until the late 1980s and early 1990s, coastal land loss in Louisiana was not widely recognized as a problem and canal digging went on unabated. More recently, Louisiana’s erosion has become a top priority for the state, which is trying to get the federal government to invest billions of dollars in saving the coast.

    Joseph Gevic, a lawyer who worked on the case for the school board, said: “The Supreme Court appears to have given the oil and gas companies a green light to do whatever they want on people’s land and then just walk away only cleaning up what the state Department of Natural Resource’s conservation office requires them to do.”

    DNR requires operators to remove well heads, seal wells and ensure that there is no surface contamination, he said. But he said the agency does not require operators to fill in canals they dug or restore land.

    The plaintiffs argued that it was implied in the lease that the oil companies which used the land would repair damage to the land.

    Since coastal erosion became more widely understood, landowners have begun to include terms in leases that compel oil companies to restore the marsh to pre-construction conditions, said Brian Kendrick, who runs Coastal Planning and Engineering of Louisiana, a coastal restoration firm.

    “There are a lot of landowners who want to pursue this,” Kendrick said.

    But Gevic said the high court’s ruling will affect many landowners who obtained contracts without such terms.

    “There are a lot of old leases like that around still, and there are still a lot of new ones around that don’t say you have to restore the land,” he said.

    Instead, he said the ruling plays into the hands of oil and gas speculators who “don’t want anything on the books that say they need to restore the land.”

    “They fight any of these cases on restoration — they’ll litigate them tooth and nail,” Gevic said about the oil and gas industry.

    Gipson said that oil and gas exploration today is much cleaner and less harmful to the coast.

    “In the beginning I think it was ignorance, they thought the marsh was useless. ‘Let’s just chew it up,'” he said. “But that’s really in the past, the present day operators are human beings, they’re not a bunch of loose cannons.”

    He added: “There have been some bad players in the past in the industry. We all live and drink and die in this coastal zone and we all have an interest in seeing the coastline kept intact and making sure the environment is not poisoned.”

    Justices Jeannette Theriot Knoll, Catherine D. Kimball and John L. Weimer dissented. The dissenting justices argued that there were legal grounds for making the oil companies restore the land.

  • CJH says:

    Chicago Mike has already made travel plans with two lovely ladies. Should be a great year!

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