There will be a pre-conference party hosted by the New Orleans bloggers on Friday evening Aug. 27, also at the Howlin’ Wolf.

8:30 – Doors open: Conference check-in with coffee, pastries & juice sponsored by

9:30 – Opening Remarks: Kim Marshall, Chair & Alli deJong, Second Harvest

9:45 a.m.
Public safety panel
Moderated by Brian Denzer

Peter Scharf
Criminologist, Tulane University
Ronal Serpas

Ronal Serpas was recently named Chief of the New Orleans Police Department. The native New Orleanian was most recently Chief of Police in Nashville, TN. The Times Picayune described his Nashville tenure like this: “The hallmarks of his tenure have been a reliance on statistical data in policing, a crackdown on gangs, an exponential boost in neighborhood watch groups, and wide-scale traffic enforcement.”

Jon Wool
Jon Wool directs the Vera Institute of Justice’s New Orleans office, which is working in partnership with local criminal justice leaders and civic and community groups to improve the effectiveness and fairness of the system. Previously at Vera, Jon worked to improve indigent defense systems, on sentencing reform, and was the Senior Counsel to the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons. Jon was a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society's Criminal Defense Division in Manhattan for five years after clerking for Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. He received a JD from Yale Law School and a BA from New York University. Before attending law school, Jon was a carpenter.
Allen James
executive director of Safe Streets.
Susan Hutson
Independent Police Monitor, City Of NOLA

11 a.m.
Keynote Speaker: Mac McClelland - Mother


Mac is Mother Jones' human rights reporter, writer of The Rights Stuff, and the author of For Us Surrender Is Out of the Question: A Story From Burma's Never-Ending War. She has "been on the Gulf Coast since the early days of the Gulf oil disaster, and... documented every last drop of it."

Mac has reported from locations including Malaysia, Australia, Thailand, Micronesia, Burma, New Orleans, and Bhutan on subjects such as the hot young Bhutanese king, Post-Katrina recovery efforts, South Pacific conservation initiatives, being embedded in dumpster-diving culture, posing as a high-class freelance call girl, and the decline of American manufacturing.

More important, she is, according to The American Prospect, "a total bad-ass."

11:45 a.m. break

'Paradise Lost'

Evironmental panel moderated by Steve Picou
Steve Picou
Steve Picou is a lifelong environmental activist, musician and futurist with a systems-oriented perspective. He is an outreach agent with the LSU AgCenter in the New Orleans area where he helps people and organizations reduce their impact, save energy and find ways to develop sustainable lifestyles and businesses. A blogger since 1997-- when he established the website of the (now-defunct) Louisiana Music Commission and served as Assistant Director from 1992 to 2005--Steve expresses his thoughts on the environment, politics, music and social justice primarily via and highlights eco-abuse at

Robert Verchick
Robert Verchick holds the Gauthier-St. Martin Chair in Environmental Law at Loyola University New Orleans.  He is currently on leave, serving in a government position in Washington, D.C.  Professor Verchick is a graduate of Stanford University and of Harvard Law School.  An expert in environmental law and in the developing field of disaster law, he has taught at several American law schools as well as at universities in China and Denmark.  His newest book, "Facing Catastrophe: Environmental Action for a Post-Katrina World," has just been released by Harvard University Press.
Len Bahr
Founding editor, frequent writer for LACoastPost and former director of the Governor’s Applied Coastal Science Program, Bahr has advised several Louisiana Governors’ administrations as well as the LA Dept. of Environmental Quality, Hazardous Waste Division. He has also served in various capacities as a researcher and professor at Louisiana State University and at the University of Maryland Chesapeake Biology Laboratory.


2 p.m.
Politics Panel
Moderated by Peter Athas
Peter Athas
Peter Athas is a longtime New Orleanian and recovering lawyer who currently owns a small business in the French Quarter. He has been blogging as Adrastos at his eponymous blog since 2005 and is also a contributor to First Draft and Back Of Town.  He is one of the founders of the Rising Tide Conference and is currently its Poohbah of programming. He lives Uptown with his beautiful and brilliant wife, Grace and their two cats, Oscar and Della Street.

Jason Berry
Jason Berry is a documentary filmmaker and IP media consultant from New Orleans. His first full length documentary was completed in 2006 with fellow filmmaker, Vince Morelli, titled, Left Behind:  The Story of the The New Orleans Public Schools.  Berry began his blog, American Zombie, in 2006 as anonymous source reporting on corruption issues withing New Orleans City Hall.  After breaking numerous corruption issues within New Orleans city government Jason went public with his identity in 2009 after being threatened with a libel suit by a New Orleans' city official.

Clancy Dubos
Clancy DuBos is the chairman and co-owner of Gambit Communications, Inc., and the political editor/columnist for Gambit weekly newspaper in New Orleans. He also is the on-air political commentator for WWL-TV (Eyewitness News Channel 4) in New Orleans, and a licensed attorney. Clancy and his wife Margo have owned Gambit since 1991, and he has been an attorney since 1993.

Jeff Crouere
Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at

Stephanie Grace

Stephanie Grace is a political columnist with the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, focusing on local, state and national politics, and since Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Before moving to the op-ed page in 2003, she spent eight years as a political reporter for the paper.

Jaques Morial
“...a native of New Orleans with over a quarter century of inter-disciplinary professional experience in the areas of community organization, public policy analysis and development, capital finance, dispute resolution and strategic communications.” - Louisiana Justice Institute. Jacques is also occasionally seen playing himself on HBO’s Treme.

3p.m. Break

3:15 p.m.
'Why Can’t We Get Some Dam Safety in New Orleans?'

Presentation by Tim Ruppert
Engineer and NOLA Blogger Tim Ruppert exposes inequities between the Federal government’s design methods for dams and levees.  For his Rising Tide 2 presentation, “In Levees We Trust,” Tim explained why the so-called “100-year level of protection” is completely inadequate for a highly developed and populated area such as New Orleans.  This year Tim expands upon that topic and asks why dams and levees alike are not designed as life safety systems.

3:45 p.m.
Presentation of the 2010 Ashley Morris Memorial Award

4 p.m.
'Down in the Treme'

Treme Panel Moderated by Maitri Erwin
Maitri Erwin
Maitri is a geoscientist, blogger and all-around technology geek. She is the founder of Back of Town: Blogging Treme, author of Maitri’s VatulBlog and reporter for She is also Indian Languages advisor to Project Gutenberg, the first producer of free electronic books.

Eric Overmyer
Eric is a playwright, television writer and producer. He is the the co-creator of Treme and has written and produced numerous TV shows, including Law & Order, Homicide: Life on the Street, The Wire and New Amsterdam.

Becky Northcut
Becky is most likely better known to NO bloggers as VirgoTex, and she will answer to either name. In addition to being one of two non-NOLA ringers blogging Treme at Back of Town, she sometimes writes about pop culture, the environment, and politics at, so she's practically a digital cousin to some in the NO online community. She created the short-lived Got that New Package! blog about The Wire, and was lucky enough to share that obsession with Ashley Morris and Ray Shea, among others. She is a queer, a naturalist, a music lover, and a Texan, none of which she had any choice about.

Dave Walker

Dave has been TV columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune since September 2000. Before that, he worked as TV columnist and pop culture writer for the Arizona Republic, and before that he was a feature writer and columnist for the Phoenix alternative weekly New Times. Born in Kansas City, raised in Chicago. His American Rock 'n' Roll Tour, the first guide to pop music landmarks, was published by Thunder's Mouth Press in 1992.

Davis Rogan
Davis is a New Orleans musician who began his broadcast career on WTUL at the age of 10, and was a DJ at WWOZ for 13 years. He first came to prominence in the New Orleans music scene with his eight piece funk group All That, for which he was lead singer, band leader, principal songwriter, arranger and producer. Davis is also script consultant for Treme and makes periodic appearances on the show.

Lolis Eric Elie
Lolis Eric Elie is a staff writer for Treme. His television work includes include Faubourg Treme, the PBS documentary directed by Dawn Logsdon. He was also a columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune for 14 years.