Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A Matter of Tru$t



On the eve of what I expect to be Garlandfill's in high dudgeon exculpation, I would like to propose a simple challenge to Sir Robinette to quash any misgivings about his integrity we serfs may have.

I would simply ask that Garlandfill post a ledger at the town square which tallies the sales of his works of art so that we may see who values his work and exactly what value they've placed on his passion.  WWL's website could serve as the virtual town square.

What say you, Garlandfill?  Do you have the courage of your conviction to practice the same level of transparency you've so oft requested of our fiefdom's lords? 

42 comments:

whitmergate said...

Just picked up this post on slabbed:

“UNOProf
September 6, 2011 6:09 pm

Garland did not address what to me is a major point, i.e., that River Birch identified him as one of the company’s lobbyists. A personal “loan” from the owner should not result in the company a) knowing about the loan and b) identifying the lucky recipient as a lobbyist.”
http://slabbed.wordpress.com/2011/09/06/all-eyes-on-the-stink-tank/#comment-32328

Ciolino has been hired to obfuscate...so is the money a fee that River Birch wrote off as a professional expense and would therefore obligate Garlanette to declare as income and pay taxes on...OR, is it a non-interest ‘loan’ that was never intended BY EITHER PARTY to be payed back with the hope that this massive criminal conspiracy would never see the light of day !

I wonder...has Garlanette considered the possibility that he was dumped on by his good “$250,000 friend” Freddy ... and what about this friendship...history might help credibility...ya think ?

I suspect that Mouton and Fazzio too, may have been made victims of a Freddy “dump”...

The fact is, no one from Jefferson Parish has been indicted relating to the criminal conspiracy to award River Birch an illegal landfill monopoly there.

Superdeformed said...

Garlandfill? Do you get credit for that breakthrough?

Dambala - Jason B. Berry said...

SD...that honor goes to someone on Slabbed. But I'll take credit for "People you Tru$t"

bruthas_back said...

the powers to be really want this story to go away. didn't this story break on nola at about midnight friday. when a tropical storm was bearing down on new orleans.

garland seems to be pretty adamant about not stepping down. my guess is after tomorrow you won't ever hear about this story in mainstream media again.

Anonymous said...

Gate, Dambala - The reality is that it's not so much a question of who River Birch (AND OTHERS) pay (Garlandfill obviously, + Gordon Russell (check out his 11.21.05 TP article on Old Gentilly landfill, he WROTE on the subject, he didn't just take a helicopter ride), + who else X how many?) to pimp for them as promo pr disguised as "journalism...

....it's a question of how many get paid (or reimbursed) in other ways TO NOT WRITE OR REPORT ANYTHING AT ALL.

I bet it's amazing how cheap some people sell out for too.

Dambala - Jason B. Berry said...

I haven't seen any evidence that Gordon accepted any cash gifts or anything substantial. He took the helicopter ride and he ate lunch...that is not that egregious in my book. If it's discovered that he took cash, it's a big deal...but he says he did not and from what I know of Gordon I believe him.

Garland clearly took cash....and a lot of it.

I think there is a lot going on here, behind the scenes, which concerns me. WGate touched on it above and I would just caution anyone from "piling on" journalists and lumping them all in together with Garlandfill.

bruthas_back said...

"I think there is a lot going on here, behind the scenes."

you bet ur azz there is a lot going on "behind the scenes"

a wise man once told me "the real power is behind the scenes".

Nagin would refer to this as the "shadow Gov't"...but that's another story.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dambala (same anon guy here) - i just noted what I put down about Gordon Russel and you're right, no evidence of payment. Correct, I should not have lumped him, my apologies.

Now, Heebe did have him down as a "consultant". For fun? No, likely for something else.

Also, that 11.21.05 article should be reviewed as part of any analysis, that's my view.

I also have always had a high opinion of Russell.

As for lumping journalists, you're right - but the editorial staff and management - and OWNERSHIP - at the TP - well that's another thing altogether, don't you think?

Dambala - Jason B. Berry said...

Methinks yes.

Anonymous said...

so you guys are actually suggesting/believing the newspaper is on the take and trying to protect Heebe-Geebe? c'mon. thats absurd. that guys prolly a conservative republican, anyway -- the paper would love to bust him.

ive talked to Russell and other TP journos before -- they cant print what they cant proof. thats how it works...they arent a blog, they cant qualify stuff with "we gotta hunch" or whatnot.

so use Occam's Razor here -- what's simpler...that the liberal newspaper that loves to bust people (as it should) is on Heebe-Geebe's payroll....or, they simply dont have enough facts.

you decide. (but just dont pick the shadow govt)

bruthas_back said...

the real question is: has heebe "loaned" money to anyone in the U.S. Attorney's Office?

Dambala - Jason B. Berry said...

- so you guys are actually suggesting/believing the newspaper is on the take and trying to protect Heebe-Geebe? c'mon. thats absurd. that guys prolly a conservative republican, anyway -- the paper would love to bust him.

Did I say that? No. You said that. Here is the question I was asked:

"As for lumping journalists, you're right - but the editorial staff and management - and OWNERSHIP - at the TP - well that's another thing altogether, don't you think?"

Where in that question did I say the TP was paid by Heebe?

bruthas_back said...

just partially read the story on nola..... the shit it getting deep now! jindal's chief of staff, bob "fucking" livingston. is it too late to get the movie rights? i wonder if david simon could fit some of this into the third season of treme?

whitmergate said...

Heebe ...dump in Treme...just script the scam pulled off in Waggaman some years ago...local councilman funnels the 'shut-up' money to his favorite non-profits...it all stinks...now that's the real thing !

Ricardo said...

The crossover that ties in the TimesPicayune and River Birch Landfill is PETER BUTTLER, SR. As legal council to both he had the ear of John Amos and could steer the paper's direction of coverage with the "if you are wrong" caution.

Anonymous said...

Bruthas Back: He already has - it's the subplot about the property buyup around what used to be a Mid-City neighborhood, the new LSU MC. Same players, maybe different bagmen. Simon (a former reporter) will touch it but local press (and even bloggers) won't.

Anonymous said...

Commentors on www.nola.com have claimed the lot was purchased for $235,000 in 2005 but against ASSsessor Core's policy, of assessing property at what it just sold for, she appraised it at $125,000 But that was not low enough for the Robinette's as they challenged it three times since 2007 to get it down to $97,000. This assessment needs to be investigated. Wonder if Core has any Garlandfill's paintings?

Anonymous said...

The TP's Manuel Roig-Franzia wrote 27 articles mentioning River Birch between 1995 and 1997.

Look it up.

Anonymous said...

Here's the landfill article by Roig-Franzia from 10.30-95, Washington Post:

>>>"New Orleans is building a mountain, a heap of broken concrete and soiled mattresses and shredded curtains plopped out on the edge of a swampy road that routinely draws comparisons to a hellish scene from Dante's "Inferno."

This place is called the Old Gentilly Landfill , an ancient dump that was shut down after being identified by federal regulators as a possible hazardous waste site nearly a quarter-century ago and that taxpayers have spent millions to clean up. The rebirth after Hurricane Katrina of Old Gentilly -- designated as a disposal site for "clean waste" from construction and demolition operations -- is the starkest example of how Louisiana is relaxing environmental laws to deal with the immensity of the storm's residue. Debris, such as soggy carpeting and plastic furniture that before the storm could never have gone into this kind of landfill , has been cleared by state environmental regulators to be dumped here in the open air. The state is allowing dumping at unlined Old Gentilly, even though more-modern landfills are nearby.

"The rules that were in place before this, they don't apply," said Chuck Carr Brown, the assistant secretary of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality responsible for landfill regulation.

Everyone knows that Katrina produced an amazing amount of waste -- 22 million tons, according to state estimates, about 15 times the debris removed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Picking up trash is a relatively unsophisticated job; disposing of it is a much more complex task because of the potential long-term environmental effects of putting garbage in the ground.

New Orleans has a bad track record with hurricane debris. After Hurricane Betsy in 1965, the city used the same approach that is now being used: reopen an old landfill .

The decision after Betsy to resurrect the Agriculture Street Landfill was disastrous. The landfill has been designated a Superfund site, federal regulators have slapped millions of dollars in fines on the city, cancer-causing substances have been found there, and lawsuits have been filed because houses and a school were built on top of it.

After Katrina, Old Gentilly shuddered back to life without a peep on a road notorious for illegal dumping east of New Orleans -- there was no one around to complain. New Orleans, which owns the landfill and pays two private companies to operate it, had been trying for two years to reopen Old Gentilly. But the process accelerated after Katrina, and many of the state-imposed requirements -- such as the types of waste that could be deposited and a mandate to build perimeter fencing -- vanished with a single stroke of Brown's pen on Sept. 29, a month after the storm.

Brown bristled at the notion that residents, who approved a bond measure to clean up the site, might complain once they return and find it reopened. "What taxpayers?" he said. "They're all displaced. I don't think anybody's worried about garbage. . . . I think they want us to dispose of this." Anyone who questions using Old Gentilly and other now-closed dumps that Brown plans to reopen, he said, "does not have the best interests of the state of Louisiana in mind."

...

Anonymous said...

cont'd:

".....But Brown's decisions have begun to draw attention on Capitol Hill and among environmentalists. The Sierra Club of Louisiana, which calls Old Gentilly "a Superfund site waiting to happen," and the Louisiana Environmental Network plan to file a lawsuit Monday challenging the reopening of Old Gentilly. Sens. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and David Vitter (R-La.) have sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which awarded garbage contracts, pointing out that there is enough space in modern landfills , "making it unnecessary to open old dumps that do not meet today's standards."

One of the landfill operators -- Jimmie Woods -- was subpoenaed for documents last year in connection with a federal investigation of alleged corruption in the administration of former New Orleans mayor Marc Morial. Woods did not return phone calls.

"It's just good ol' Louisiana politics," said Wade P. Scott, owner of a modern landfill in nearby St. Charles Parish. He said there is more than enough capacity to handle "several Katrinas" between his landfill and another in Jefferson Parish, owned by businessman Fred Heebe. Brown says the landfills in St. Charles and Jefferson parishes could not process the waste fast enough, though Scott says it would be easy to set up multiple entrances to speed the flow.

Robert Wiygul, a lawyer for the environmental groups filing suit Monday, said placing new debris on the old dump at Gentilly could squeeze toxic liquids out of the buried garbage.

"You don't want to get rid of one mess by creating another mess that is going to haunt you for years to come," he said.

Brown rebuts the claim, saying soil borings showed no liquid beneath the surface, setting up what is likely to be a contentious court battle. While they argue, out in the bogs of New Orleans a mountain grows."<<<

Anonymous said...

Hey I have a question, and ask Slabbed about this too:

This is the bit that the TP keeps repeating over and over again (while almost always or always excluding the fact that Gordon Russel wrote that 11.21.05 article for the TP and also about 24-26 or so articles in the TP referencing the Old Gentilly Landfill altogether): "Russell, who was covering landfill issues as a Times-Picayune reporter after Katrina, said he and a photographer once flew over the landfills in a helicopter commissioned by River Birch and that he once accepted an invitation by Heebe to eat lunch at the businessman's home when he visited to pick up documents. He said his relationship with Heebe was strictly that of a reporter gathering information."

http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/09/list_seized_in_2007_raid_on_ri.html

OK, WHAT IF Russell was providing docs that he obtained as a TP reporter through public records requests or just plain newshounding or digging in the court record AND IN RETURN Heebe provided information about the ins and outs and nitty gritty, inside baseball if you will, of the landfill business?

Now THAT sounds like something a news reporter WOULD DO.

About the news business and being a reporter, just supposing here but: Sometimes there are people who provide information to the public or to the press surreptitiously. That doesn't mean that everything released is being released for beneficent reasons. Now a reporter may end up being *used* that way; or they may be willing participants (because they further their story that way and a good story furthers their career), and sometimes they may even get a little something extra because their position is just that powerful (because it is or can be).

Anonymous said...

i said "you guys", not "Jason". and yes, that the TP is on on the take, or in on covering this up somehow, is exactly what was suggested by this thread:

"the powers to be really want this story to go away. didn't this story break on nola at about midnight friday."

"my guess is after tomorrow you won't ever hear about this story in mainstream media again."

"it's a question of how many get paid (or reimbursed) in other ways TO NOT WRITE OR REPORT ANYTHING AT ALL."

"the editorial staff and management - and OWNERSHIP - at the TP - well that's another thing altogether, don't you think?"

"Methinks yes."

...all of which clearly imply the TP held it so it wouldnt get much attention, is working to cover it up, etc. this is absurd -- it's thier own paper, their own story, that they broke...of course they want it to get hits. thats their entire business.

love the site but im just commenting on something that is a bit disconnected from reality. like i said, ive talked to these writers many times (often about stories you cover and asking why they dont do the same) and what they always say is the same -- they need multiple validated sources, etc. they cant publish hunches, only facts. sometimes those are hard to come by.

jeffrey said...

Did I read a comment on this thread referring to the T-P as a "liberal newspaper"? That happened? Look, I... no you know what.. never mind. Just kindly go fuck right on off. It's football season, I'm gonna go worry about that instead.

bruthas_back said...

what are the odds that any of the serious players in this scheme get indicted?
from what i understand jim ward is one of the most powerful MotherF@#@!S in this region if not the the whole state.
does letten really want to go up against the people who more than likely got him to the position that he is in now?
letten came to be U.S Attorney under what was said to be one the most politicized justice depts. ever. if you didn't play by the "rules" you would be fired. the most ironic part of this whole scandal is that heebe was tapped to be U.S attorney before letten.
I know letten is a "hero" to many around here but i have no faith in him to go after the real corruption.
going after morial and the jefferson's is one thing but i don't think he wants to go after the more corrupt of the two jefferson's, which is the parish not the family.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, fellow Anon (@ >>i said "you guys"<<): Just curious, how much experience do you have in Jefferson Parish issues when dealing with these reporters? (a) Exclusively all, (b) a lot, (c) some, (d) a little or (e) none at all?

Because if it's anything from c-e you may not really be aware of what goes on (or rather does not).

BTW before it gets mentioned - much love, appreciation and true bottom of my heart thanks to Rioux, Rainey, Zurik, and Bracey.

Not at all a 'lump'em'all'in approach here, no sirree.

Anonymous said...

Jeffrey:

ding ding ding

Exactly.

Now are the pols and voters conservative in JP or liberal?

The Phelpses (Comus/Rex) and Krantzes (Endymion) are in the Mardi Gras Society Pages. No, not liberal at all, quite right.

Who owns the press?

And who manages content?

No, the reporters and writers do NOT get every word they write printed. Sometimes some of the words printed are not theirs. They don't even get to publish every story or investigate every story they would like.

No nefarious cabal here either. just journalism.

Guys do you even realize that the TP used to be located in the SAME BUILDING as the Old Regular political organization? The Old Regulars used to write the headlines, ok? Ancient history you say? I don't think so much. When in this town does history ever pass on?

Dambala - Jason B. Berry said...

Anon # whatever,

- "OK, WHAT IF Russell was providing docs that he obtained as a TP reporter through public records requests or just plain newshounding or digging in the court record AND IN RETURN Heebe provided information about the ins and outs and nitty gritty, inside baseball if you will, of the landfill business?"

I don't want to speculate on this right now...for a number of reasons but primarily because of the reason I gave above. I think there is a general desire for people to lump all MSM resources into the same pot right now and I think that is a very dangerous proposition. And as I alluded to above, I think it's also dangerous to lump journalists within the same MSM organization, i.e. TP, into the same category.

There are a lot of people that would like to see Russell discredited....particularly right now. The same goes for Hammer and Zurik. You already saw an attempt to hit Zurik which came into the blog last week. I think those attacks are going to increase and being the gutter punk of the N.O. journalism world, I would rather face the attackers than allow the attacked to be unjustly damaged.

Now the pregnant word in that sentence is "unjustly". But until we find out information to the contrary....and I'm not opposed to that being examined in any way, as well I think it should be....I just think it's best to circle the wagons at the moment.

One of the advantages of what I do on AZ is that I don't have to worry about the same things a "professional journalist" has to worry about. And by professional I don't mean they're content is any less real than mine, I mean they have higher standards and their entire livelihood is contingent upon their reputation and the "perception", as Garlandfill likes to say, of their integrity. There is a an ocean of difference between Garlandfill and Russell and until something is definitively established against Russell, I think his reputation...on the whole...stands tall. (Even though he did misquote me in the Richmond stories after I specifically told him not to).

That's not to say I don't take the integrity of this blog very seriously and I think it stands on its own as well....but it's a whole different animal. If someone hits me, I'll just bleed on them and infect them. AZ is the STD of Nawlin's journalism.

Am I making sense? I have a caffeine buzz working.

Dambala - Jason B. Berry said...

- I don't mean they're content is any less real than mine

my content is any less real than theirs....sic

Dambala - Jason B. Berry said...

shit...their content....not they're. Damn, damn, damn...

Dambala - Jason B. Berry said...

One day I will proofread before I hit the orange button...one day...

Anonymous said...

Hey Dambala, I just want you to know I read your response and appreciate it. Smart stuff, thanks.

Captain Anonymous said...

Re:

"the newspaper is on the take and trying to protect Heebe-Geebe? c'mon. thats absurd."

Sure. Absurd. But if one could trace all the connections, the subtle (and not-so-subtle) webs of influence, protectionism is the end result. Ray Nagin's "shadow government" is alive and well, and they prefer to settle the matter more quietly than publicly.

That TP blast? The quintessential Nixonian "limited hangout." Briefly air the dirty laundry, then sweep under the rug, down the memory hole!

Dambala - Jason B. Berry said...

- " down the memory hole!"

maybe, not so much.

Dambala - Jason B. Berry said...

right?

Dambala - Jason B. Berry said...

Here's the thing....I am pissed that Russell's integrity is being called into question.

I don't question it.

You better show me something much more substantial than fucking lunch and a helicopter ride to get me to believe that line of bullshit.

Captain Anonymous said...

re:

- " down the memory hole!"

maybe, not so much.

I'm glad you're on the case, Zombie!

Now on the critique side, getting "pissed that Russell's integrity is being called into question" is wandering off the trail.

Who's doing the smearology?

Can you trace it back to the source?

Map those webs of influence?

Connect all the names?

whitmergate said...

Given the helicopter ride, Russell was presumedly on a fact finding tour... no matter who paid ... Egregious ethics violation ? NOT ... in hindsight, most would agree an error in judgement for not clarifying who was paying his way in the first place.

And now that two of the most opinionated of the T-P’s Opinion Columnists have weighed in on the questionable propriety of Robinette’s low down behavior, let’s talk about Grace and Gill going to Antoine’s sipping Dom Perignon while grazing on Oysters Rockefeller with then Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard ... and the T-P pays !!!

Anonymous said...

Did that lunch at Antoine's make him relaxed and drunk enough to say anything useful to either of them?

Expense account lunches are not the same as $250 000 loans. Most loans have orderly repayment plans. A loan of a quarter of a million dollars that gets repaid only when it is discovered sounds like a kickback to me.

The lunch just sounds delicious.

Anonymous said...

Gate, that article you mention is much odder in hindsight. That was written by Grace and now seems like - given the timing - an attempt at disclosure in an 'oh by the way' manner.

Dambala - Jason B. Berry said...

You know if the TP wants to pay 100's of bucks to stuff Grace, Gill and Broussard's faces with overpriced slop....they are a private company so I suppose that's their business. I think it speaks more to the nature of Robinette/Grace/Gill's job description more than anything.

Apparently punditry is the ticket in the MSM world...perks and cash, perks and cash.

Dambala - Jason B. Berry said...

Unless of course they were wining and dining Broussard while playing the role of reporter for the TP.

As Gill once noted...there should be a Chinese wall between the editorial staff and the news staff.

http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2010/11/how_a_newspaper_can_be_objecti.html

Dambala - Jason B. Berry said...

But Holy Shit Anon @ 3:22.....keep talking....just keep talking.....

no one's listening now but me.....