Monday, August 31, 2015: All this week, we’re remembering the destruction Hurricane Katrina caused in the New Orleans area ten years ago. Bob talks with Mark Schleifstein, a reporter for the Times Picayune, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his post-Katrina coverage. Next, Bob visits with Shirley Laska, the founder of the Center for Hazards Assessment Response and Technology (CHART) at the University of New Orleans. She predicted the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Katrina, and her center studies coastal communities, examining the ways people cope with frequent disasters. Journalist Dan Baum arrived in New Orleans two days after Hurricane Katrina and spent years reporting on the disaster and its aftermath. He wrote a book called Nine Lives about what happened in New Orleans between the twin catastrophes of Hurricane Betsy in 1965 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Baum covered those 40 years by telling the stories of nine citizens. Coleman deKay and Paul Sanchez took those stories and set them to music. Their CD is titled Nine Lives: A Musical Adaptation and features New Orleans musicians and singers.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015: Today we continue a week-long series of conversations about New Orleans and how the city and the surrounding area was changed by Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of 2005. Bob talks with funny man Harry Shearer about his deadly serious documentary titled The Big Uneasy. It tells the story of the UNnatural disaster caused by Katrina. The focus is on three scientists who tried to warn of the danger before the hurricane hit — or who tried to investigate the aftermath of the flooding and the many obstacles they faced. Tia Lessin and Carl Deal were horrified by the destruction Hurricane Katrina brought to New Orleans. The filmmakers flew to Louisiana a week after the storm hit and met Kimberly Roberts and her husband Scott who filmed their experiences on a second-hand camcorder. Lessin and Deal incorporated that raw footage — documenting a frustrating wait for help — into their film titled Trouble the Water.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015: We continue our series on the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina today. We’ll examine the struggles of two different families as they returned to their homes in hard-hit St. Bernard Parish. First we visit Errol Perez. He evacuated to northern Louisiana before Katrina, and it took him almost five years to move back home. Next, Bob talks with cultural anthropologist and documentary filmmaker Kate Browne about what she learned by following the journey of an extended Creole family scattered by Katrina. The documentary is titled, Still Waiting. Then Bob talks with Sheri Fink about her book titled Five Days at Memorial. Her book chronicles a grim string of events at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans during and immediately after Hurricane Katrina.
Thursday, September 3, 2015: We continue our series of conversations marking the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Today, Bob joins former mayor Maurice “Moon” Landrieu and his daughter Madeleine Landrieu for a history lesson and a driving tour of the destruction caused by the flooding - damage which still cuts across social and economic boundaries of the city. Then, we visit with New Hope Baptist Church deacons Arthur Garrett and Eric Brown about life – and life in New Orleans – since Katrina.
Friday, September 4, 2015: We conclude our series on Hurricane Katrina and the destruction it caused in New Orleans and the surrounding parishes. Bob gets an update from cultural anthropologist Kate Browne on the struggles of the extended Creole family she’s been documenting for the past ten years. Browne’s new book is titled Standing in the Need: Culture, Comfort and Coming Home after Katrina. Next, local musician Ben Jaffe shows us around Preservation Hall, the music venue started by his parents, and reminds us about some of the unique characteristics of New Orleans. Finally - we visit with local community organizer Paul Baricos at the Hollygrove Market and Farm in New Orleans and meet two of the farmers working there to help rebuild the roots of their neighborhood. Ronald Terry is a mentor farmer specializing in miniature fruit trees and Michael Beauchamp is a community gardener who grows his own vegetables and flowers in plots at the urban farm.