Joomla! 1.5 - 'Experience the Freedom'!. It has never been easier to create your own dynamic Web site. Manage all your content from the best CMS admin interface and in virtually any language you speak.
Home Our Blog Market Report

Market Report

The Associated Press By The Associated Press
on October 30, 2012 at 1:08 PM, updated October 30, 2012 at 1:16 PM
 

NEW ORLEANS -- Settlements have resolved a Louisiana recording company's trademark claims against two T-shirt vendors and a restaurant over rights to the phrase "Who Dat?" The phrase is part of a popular chant among New Orleans Saints fans.

Who Dat Say ELIOT KAMENTIZ / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE

Who Dat? Inc. accused Storyville Apparel, Monogram Express and Who Dat Yat Chat restaurant of violating its trademark.

The T-shirt vendors and the restaurant argued "Who Dat?" is a generic phrase.

Darleen Jacobs says the settlement allows her to use Who Dat Yat Chat as the name of a restaurant she plans to open. Who Dat? Inc. also will pay her $3,000 to cover court costs.

Mark Andrews, a lawyer for the T-shirt vendors, said terms of their settlement are confidential. However, he says his clients intend to continue selling T-shirts with the phrase.

 

Thousands of airline flights grounded by Hurricane Sandy effects

The Associated Press By The Associated Press
on October 28, 2012 at 2:25 PM, updated October 28, 2012 at 11:02 PM
 

NEW YORK -- Airlines canceled more than 5,000 flights mostly as a result of Hurricane Sandy, with hubs along the East Coast bearing the brunt of the disruptions.

Airlines grounded by Hurricane Sandy.JPG Some U.S. airlines are giving travelers a way out if they want to scrap their plans due to Hurricane Sandy. JetBlue, US Airways and Spirit Airlines are offering waivers to customers who wish to reschedule their flights without paying the typical fee of up to $150. The offers cover passengers flying just about anywhere from Latin America to New Hampshire. AP Photo/Lisa Poole, File

According to the flight-tracking service FlightAware, 1,100 Sunday flights have been canceled as of Sunday afternoon, with more than 265 cancellations at Newark Airport, a hub of United Airlines.

For Monday, nearly 4,000 flights were canceled, with 857 cancellations at Newark, followed by 632 at New York's Kennedy Airport and more than 500 cancellations at both New York's LaGuardia and Philadelphia International.

FlightAware said it expects the number of flight cancellations for Monday and Tuesday to "rise considerably."

A spokesman for United Airlines parent United Continental Holdings Inc. said the carrier has suspended an unspecified number of flights to New York and Washington-area airports beginning Sunday evening with plans to resume Tuesday as conditions permit.

JetBlue Airways Corp., which flies out of JFK, said it has canceled more than 1,000 flights from Sunday through Wednesday morning.

Hurricane Sandy is heading north from the Caribbean, where it has left nearly five dozen dead, to meet a winter storm and a cold front, plus high tides from a full moon. Experts say the rare hybrid storm that results will cause havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes.

 

Theatres at Canal Place expansion set to open on Nov. 9

The Theatres at Canal Place, which operates in the Shops at Canal Place shopping center, will expand from five to nine screens on Nov. 9, it has been announced. (Photo by Canal Place)
Mike Scott, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune By Mike Scott, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
on October 25, 2012 at 5:24 PM, updated October 25, 2012 at 5:50 PM

The expansion of The Theatres at Canal Place is almost ready for its close-up. Southern Theatres, the locally owned movie-theater chain that runs the five-screen, high-end multiplex, is preparing to unveil the four-screen expansion on Nov. 9.

That's the same opening weekend as "Skyfall," the newest James Bond adventure, which Southern Theatres owner George Solomon said is a bit later than he had hoped, but an outside company hired to assist with the installation of the projectors is running behind schedule.

"This is kind of unexpected," Solomon said. "We really would have liked to have been open this past weekend."

The expansion will add a total of 180 seats to the approximately 300 already existing at the theater, which is noted for its upscale, in-theater dining concept. Although the four new auditoriums won't be contiguous with the current five-screen facility, they will be located within a stone's throw, taking over the space previously occupied by the Southern Rep stage theater and RHINO Contemporary Craft Co. on the third floor of the Shops at Canal Place shopping center.

All nine auditoriums will operate under the Theatres at Canal Place name, and all will continue to feature the same "high-caliber independent and wide-release, film selections," Southern has said. A new ticket booth located in the expanded space will serve all nine auditoriums, and both the expansion and the original theater will operate under the same high-end, dine-in business model introduced when Southern Theaters took over management of the theater and remodeled it to the tune of $4 million in 2010.

Chef Adolfo Garcia's on-site Gusto restaurant will continue providing the food for the theater -- served to moviegoers in their seats by a full-time wait staff -- and will operate out of a kitchen expanded to accommodate the increase in customers.

Among the new features to be introduced with the expansion will be an auditorium available for rental for private parties, corporate events and the like, as well as an LED display in the all-glass storefront that Solomon said will be hard to miss

"It will be eye-catching," he said.

Solomon's Southern Theaters, based in New Orleans, operates the Grand Theatres and Amstar Cinemas in 18 locations, plus the Theatres at Canal Place. It is currently in the process of building a new 14-screen Kenner-area multiplex, which is also expected to be open by summer 2013.

 

U.S. kept photos of dead whale under wraps during spill, Greenpeace says

Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 5:47 PM     Updated: Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 6:48 PM

The environmental group Greenpeace is raising new questions about why it took the federal government more than two years to release information about a //www.flickr.com/photos/77335988@N02/sets/72157631629351033/">dead sperm whale that was discovered during the BP oil spill. The 26-foot juvenile whale, an endangered species, was discovered by a NOAA research vessel about 77 miles from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Greenpeace officials learned of it in September, when the government finally responded to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Greenpeace in June 2010.

Dead sperm whale discovered by research vessel Pisces.jpgNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Information, GreenpeaceDead sperm whale discovered by the NOAA research vessel Pisces on June 15, 2010.

"The problem remains that we don't know exactly what BP and the government scientists saw, what they documented, and how they kept their records," said Greenpeace research director Kert Davies in a news release. "The systemic clamp down on information and consistent lack of transparency and images such as these continue to remind us to demand full accountability from the oil companies and the government, especially with the looming legal settlement between the company and the government."

Reports by the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets in recent weeks say there are ongoing negotiations between BP and federal and state lawyers aimed at settling civil and criminal charges and government damage claims for between $15 billion and $20 billion.

"Clearly, the public hasn't seen all the evidence," Davies said. "These images of a dead whale in the Gulf of Mexico, if they had been released in June 2010, would have been front page news. It's pretty upsetting to know that you and I are paying taxpayer money for federal officials to observe things that we still haven't seen."

Protected Species Sightings overflight May.July2010.jpgView full sizeNOAA, GreenpeaceA map provided Greenpeace in September indicates where NOAA officials spotted protected turtles, dolphins and whales in the months after the spill.

Tissue samples from the dead whale were harvested by government researchers aboard the NOAA research vessel Pisces, according to emails released to Greenpeace. The whale already had been dead for some time, and was being eaten by sharks, making it impossible to collect more than a small sample.

"Scientists did take samples from the carcass, but because the animal was so badly decomposed, the cause of death could not be determined," said Scott Smullen, deputy director of communications and external affairs for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, when asked about the Greenpeace documents.

Smullen said crew members aboard the Pisces wrote about their finding on a web blog on the day of the sighting, and two days later, NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service issued a news release describing the finding.

But Davies said the documents given to Greenpeace include a version of that news release showing it was edited to remove "sensitive" material. And other emails between senior officials on the ship and on shore indicated an effort to block crew members from discussing the finding in public.

NOAA also has not released the test results of the whale flesh, which might show whether there was oil on or in the animal when it died, he said.

"Due to ongoing litigation issues, we are not able to discuss this aspect of our investigation," Smullen said in response to a request for the sampling results.

Other documents indicated that on the same June day as the dead whale discovery, the seismic survey vessel MV Gilavar spotted four adult and one juvenile sperm whale swimming through oily sheen, about 20 miles from the BP well site.

The whales came close enough to the ship to force its crew to stop their surveying, as required under federal laws protecting endangered species. The surveying uses air guns or explosive charges to bounce sound off the ocean floor to search for oil and gas formations, and observers on board are required to survey the area to assure endangered whales, dolphins or sea turtles do not wander into the noisemaking area.

The crew spotted two whales nearby at about 2:30 p.m., but they were not within the area being surveyed. But then a 26-foot-long juvenile whale swam up to the ship, and observers on board saw that it was covered with oil. That whale then swam into the survey area, forcing the ship to shut down its testing.Four large sperm whales appeared a few minutes later and also entered into the testing area, requiring an extension of the shutdown. The crew reported it was likely those whale also were covered in the same oil.

The report said that radio traffic in the area indicated there also was controlled burning of oil in the area, causing smoke.

"Water color is greenish-brown, with patches of iridescent sheens scattered all over. Small brown globs of what appear to be oil and possibly oil dispersant infiltrate the water," the report said. "The Gilavar obviously had nothing to do with the oil injury of these animals. The oil clearly came from the leak of the Deepwater Horizon well, which is approximately 20 miles SSE of where the whales were sighted."

Smullen said NOAA received the report, but there was little it could do to confirm the whales were oiled.

"The crew did report that sighting, but unless a permitted, trained and equipped team of experts is there to immediately follow and tag the animals, they are nearly impossible to relocate since they move great distances quickly and stay submerged for prolonged periods of time," he said.

Whales swim thru oil 5.11.2010 w insert.jpgView full sizeNOAA, GreenpeaceAn aerial photo released to Greenpeace shows four whales swimming through oily water on May 11, 2010.

Greenpeace also has questions about photos in NOAA files that were taken May 11, 2010, of another four whales, again possibly sperm whales, swimming through oiled water, Davies said. Those photos also were not released when they were taken.

"While there is not a definitive link between the BP oil disaster and the death of the whale in the photo, the story does serve as a very graphic reminder that more must be done to protect the marine wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico," said Shelley Sparks, a spokeswoman for the Ocean Conservancy.

She said money paid by BP under the Oil Pollution Act's Natural Resource Damage Assessment process, or under the RESTORE Act, which requires 80 percent of Clean Water Act fines from the spill be directed to restoration "should be used to not only address cultural, coastal and economic needs, but also the marine environment, which is often out of sight."

 

Businesses take sides in Crescent City Connection toll renewal referendum

Andrea Shaw, NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune By Andrea Shaw, NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune
on October 23, 2012 at 8:06 AM, updated October 23, 2012 at 8:47 AM
 

With two weeks to go before Election Day, the campaign over whether to renew tolls on the Crescent City Connection is ramping into high gear. Voters in Orleans, Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes are set to decide Nov. 6 whether the tolls, which are scheduled to lapse in December, should be extended for 20 years.

ccctolltag.jpg The Crescent City Connection toll renewal is getting the backing of Bridging Progress, a political action committee, which will announce its support today. NOLA.com file photo

East bank-bound motorists with toll tags pay 40 cents and $1 with cash.

A coalition of business groups will announce their support of continuing the tolls today. Bridging Progress, a political action committee, will hold a news conference at 10 a.m. at the Governor Nicholls Street Wharf.

"Protecting this bridge is critical to the economic development of this region,'' D'Juan Hernandez, committee chairman, said in a news release. "If tolls are rejected, we believe that the Crescent City Connection will fall victim to bureaucracy and neglect. By continuing tolls on this important bridge means that we will continue progress throughout the area and protect the integrity of this iconic and well-used structure. Saving our Crescent City Connection is vitally important to the businesses of this region.''

The tolls generate about $22 million annually and provide three-fourths of the budget for the agency that oversees the span.

Led by state Rep. Pat Connick, R-Harvey, who has pushed for audits that have uncovered questionable spending by the Crescent City Connection Division, which oversees the bridge, anti-toll groups cite waste and unfulfilled promises of using toll dollars to fund road projects as reasons for their opposition. They also say it is unfair to ask West Bank residents to continue shelling out money for a bridge that has been paid off.

More than 80 area businesses, many on the West Bank, have joined the movement against the toll renewal. Connick released data from the state Department of Transportation and Development, showing the amount of money paid by toll tag holders over the past 12 months.

Connick said Jefferson Parish toll tag holders paid $3.4 million, while Orleans Parish toll tag holders contributed $2.2 million. Plaquemines Parish toll tag holders paid $225,000.

An organization, called Stopthetolls.org, is also collecting signatures and has posted information it says voters need to know before casting a ballot on the issue.

 
More Articles...