Minor news for just about everyone, but it’s personal interest for me.
Ms. Monette went missing in early April. She’d closed down a bar in our old neighborhood that we used to frequent 15-18 years ago. She was recorded on security cameras leaving alone; that doesn’t rule out foul play, but if you know New Orleans another possibility becomes likely.
At the time, my wife and I agreed that they were probably going to find her car in the water eventually.
New Orleans has canals and bayous right in the middle of the city. And most of the don’t have any sort of barrier or guard rail: they’re scenic watercourses that are open for walking and fishing from the banks.
The thing is, the water is murky, and usually pretty deep. Murky like in a reality show like Duck Dynasty, with visibility about a foot looking into the water. And still waters run deep — perhaps 10-15 feet, without any solid bottom. When a car drives into these waters, they’re just gone.
So I wasn’t surprised when they found her car, or when they announced that they had already searched this very spot. This happened every couple of months in New Orleans.
Here’s a screen capture from Google Earth:
Bayou St. John is in the background beyond the trees. I’ve been through the intersection of these two boulevards … perhaps a thousand times. That’s why the case interests me.
Those curbs are not high, you could easily drive over them … and they aren’t on all sides of the road. And this is quite a big view going into the distance … the breaks in the trees in the distance are usually big enough to drive two cars through side by side.
Ms. Monette probably either veered off the road on the left through the trees by the second red light, merged to the right and veered through the trees, or merged right to make a “California left” or “jug handle” through the break in the boulevard’s neutral ground towards the top right and lost control in the trees. These are mistakes anyone could make in the night.
FWIW: NOPD had looked in this spot, but had focused their efforts on a similar intersection about a mile west of this spot (due to their interpretation of grainy shots from a red light camera). That’s an even tougher spot to search, with another canal and much thicker brush.
Very cool infographics by Eric Fischer. Obviously, this is San Francisco. The tourists are downtown, along the wharves, out to Alcatraz, and along the Golden Gate Bridge. The locals are further up Market Street, and out through Golden Gate Park, but also in downtown Oakland and Berkeley.
Less familiar is my old stomping grounds of New Orleans – where the tourists don’t leave the French Quarter, CBD and Warehouse District, except to go a little uptown to the Garden District.
Then there’s my hometown, Buffalo, where tourists dare not tread (and apparently the locals don’t post many photos either):
Everyone seems to be missing the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Delaware Park.
The information was derived from people who posted and geotagged their photos.
I have a love/hate relationship with New Orleans. I lived there for almost 9 years, and loved it, but we moved to get away from it.
I hope I’m interested enough in New Orleans to pay attention longer than others, experienced enough to know that you have to be that way, and yet still as neutral as can be reasonably hoped.
In short: I’m not surprised by this little tidbit of news about the blackout at the Super Bowl.
Entergy told New Orleans City Council members that the company still doesn’t know why the device triggered …
But the relay’s manufacturer, Chicago-based S&C Electric Co., says it believes it knows why the problem happened: The relay, it says, wasn’t operated at the proper setting.
System operators essentially put the relay’s trip setting too low, S&C vice president Michael Edmonds wrote to CNN in an e-mail. The electrical load exceeded the trip setting, so the relay triggered, he said.
“Based on the onsite testing, we have determined that if higher settings had been applied, the equipment would not have disconnected the power,” Edmonds wrote. …
Asked whether Entergy agrees with S&C’s characterization of the problem, Entergy spokesman Mike Burns responded:
“Tests conducted by S&C and Entergy on the two relays installed at the Superdome shows that one relay functioned as expected and the other relay did not.
Let me read between the lines for you.
The local(ish) company responsible, Entergy, told the local poo-bahs that it’s not responsible. It’s the fault of the bad guys from out of town. You know … like FEMA.
The manufacturers (wearing black hats because they’re from out of town) note that the relay failed because a human set it at too low a level.
Both the local utility and the out-of-state manufacturer agree that “one relay functioned as expected and the other relay did not”.
Let’s parse that one. This is like saying you couldn’t make it to work because you’re car didn’t start; the beauty of that excuse is that it doesn’t say that you tried to start your car. In the same sense, Entergy’s excuse is completely consistent with the manufacturer’s explanation: that a human made a setting on one device that was too low, and a different one on another device that was OK.
In short, New Orleans screwed up its Super Bowl because New Orleans is a place where things get screwed up.
Hat tip to WH for telling me Fast Eddie walked a few weeks back.
* In 1991, the best Louisiana could come up with to run against David Duke was corrupt 3 time former governor Edwards. Fading bumper stickers saying “Vote for the Crook — It’s Important” were common through the 90s.
The renowned, late journalist A.J. Liebling, a fixture for many years in The New Yorker and a chronicler of then-Louisiana Gov. Earl Long, once wrote that the home state I share with Long was “the northernmost of the banana republics.”
About a year after I left Louisiana, I made a future valedictorian guffaw by describing Louisiana as a banana republic with frequently updated wallpaper.
FWIW: Lest anyone think I’m being mean, let me emphasize that the love part of my love/hate relationship with Louisiana is still going strong.
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