Vandals damage City Park’s Storyland, Carousel Garden, write racial slurs on rides

Surveillance cameras captured images of the vandals in the act.

NEW ORLEANS — Vandals broke into City Park’s Storyland and Carousel Gardens, breaking windows, damaging the carousel, and writing racial slurs on the rides.

Photos from City Park show broken glass, graffiti and tails ripped from carousel horses. Officials say it also looks like someone stabbed the antique band organ and one of the carousel horses with a screwdriver.

The racially-charged graffiti includes the N-word and the phrase “Hitler Salute.”

Images of the two vandals were captured by security cameras set up after their first break-in. City Park officials say the names “Alex” and “Justin A” were written on items in the park and shoe prints were left on the carousel doors where they were kicked in.

City Park’s Storyland received a big renovation in 2019, adding new exhibits. The carousel is more than a century old and is on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior.

“This hurts my heart. The Carousel and Storyland are such traditional iconic parts of the Park. The Carousel is over 100 years old. To have them survive Katrina only to then be disrespected in this way is a true travesty. The people of New Orleans love City Park and we’re so grateful to them. It’s sad to see a few people destroy so much,” says Bob Becker, City Park CEO.

City Park is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact City Park Chief Operations Officer, Rob DeViney at 504-419-2832.

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Tea garden workers in Bengal write to CM seeking legally binding wages

Workers of tea gardens in north Bengal have written to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee raising a host of issues concerning them such as wages, ownership of land and financial assistance for closed tea gardens.

“We continue to get only ₹176 that has been determined in an ad hoc manner. Agricultural workers have a minimum wage of ₹257, as do workers in cinchona plantations,” the workers of closed, abandoned and sick gardens said in their letter addressed to the Chief Minister.

The letter sought the government to fix a legally binding minimum wage rate for tea plantation workers and added that though an ‘advisory committee’ for the same was set up in 2014, it has not come up with a figure. The workers raised the issue of harassment by managements when they tried to withdraw their provident fund savings, pension or gratuity and not getting payment of dues (interim relief) as ordered by the Supreme Court.

“The tea plantation workers are also not getting their dues of Financial Assistance to the Workers of Locked Out Industries (FAWLOI) Scheme. Gardens such as Birpara, Torsa and Raimatang have been closed for almost a year but have not received FAWLOI payments, which are supposed to be paid within 3 months of closure,” the letter said.

The letter, signed by representatives of Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity and union leaders of tea garden workers, added that tea plantation workers have no rights on the land they and their ancestors have been working on for over 200 years.

The issue of tea garden workers was raised on several occasions in the administrative meetings chaired by Ms. Banerjee in north Bengal during the day. The Chief Minister said that the State government has started a project called Cha Sundari for providing houses to homeless workers of tea gardens. “This is a ₹500 crore project. In phase I workers of seven tea gardens in Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar will get 3,694 homes,” Ms. Banerjee said at the meeting.

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Write Your Bestseller in Ursula K. Le Guin’s Gorgeous Old House Now For Sale

House hunting writers rejoice! The gorgeous-looking home that once belonged to author Ursula K. Le Guin recently went up for sale at nearly $4 million. If you have a bestseller cooking, then Le Guin’s old Berkeley home is the perfect place to start writing the next Wizard of Earthsea.

About 13 years ago, the novelist discussed her childhood home in Paradoxa. The essay, “Living in a Work of Art,” showcased the Tehanu writer’s memories of her upbringing and how the actual house inspired her creatively.

“If I recall my childhood, I recall that house. It is where everything happened. It is where I happened,” wrote Le Guin. “Writing this, I wonder if much of my understanding of what a novel ought to be was taught to me, ultimately, by living in that house. If so, perhaps all my life I have been trying to rebuild it around me out of words.”

Ursula K. Le Guin
LOS ANGELES – DEC 15: Ursula Le Guin at home in Portland, Origon, California December 15 2005. (Photo by Dan Tuffs/Getty Images)
Getty/Dan Tuffs

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Helene Barkin, a Broker Associate at the Grubb Company, told Newsweek, “It is very exciting to have such interest in this very special Bernard Maybeck designed home and an honor to have the trust of the current owners, in representing them.”

“What I can say now is that this home, its natural materials, the restoration of the wood to a glow that sparkles as the sun shines in, lends an intimacy that speaks to one’s soul,” she added.

“It is warm and comforting and the outlooks to the greenery and the Bay Views are very soothing during a time when we all need some solace for self-reflection and thoughtful contemplation. While I am not a writer, I believe this is what it offers creatives and romantics, writers included,” she said.

The Grubb Company, handling the listing, released photos and a video tour of the renovated property. Architect Bernard Maybeck designed the house back in 1907. The wooden balcony has a spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge. In case you’re thinking about writing the great American novel, the five-bedroom residence has enough space and vistas for you to feel inspired and outline your plot.

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“The flourishing garden offers a private portal to the flora and fauna of the surrounding landscape, one of the cornerstones of Maybeck’s creative conceptualization,” stated the official house listing.

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Write About Home Decor for Elle Decor Magazine

Elle Decor magazine is where any article writer would want to see your name in. Not to mention that it pays well, publishing in Elle Decor is very prestigious and would be at the top of any writer's resume. Writing about any subject related to home decor requires a good homework to be done before you come up with your article aspiring to catch the editor's eye.

Choose the Right Topic

The homes featured in Elle Decor magazine are only the finest and the most elegant. So if you pitch an article about shabby chic or primitive decoration, the editor is unlikely to want your writing. Homes that fit Elle Decor magazine can be found in every city, but you, the writer, must figure out where. A good place to look is your city's Christmas or spring tour of homes. Only homeowners who have great decor and are proud of it would put their home on a tour.

After you have identified a house that you think reaches Elle Decor magazine standards, check through past issues to make sure that particular house has never been profiled. Also, make sure to come up with a fresh approach. The editor will never take a story on a home's distinctive topiary, for example, if she ran another topiary story the previous month.

Elle's editorial board requires sophistication first, but beyond that, the magazine features styles from all over the world. Though the magazine is originally French, Elle's home decor style is rather international.

Send Your Query

Just like with any magazine, you must find out about Elle Decor's editorial guidelines – the magazine's rules for submission. The guidelines will specify word count limit for each section: features, reviews and trends. Some editors require that you send relevant pictures with your submission. Reference to your previously published work is also a common requirement.

Being such a prestigious magazine, Elle Decor doesn't highlight the right contact information and the editorial guidelines. Getting this information and sending a dazzling letter to the right person at the right time is actually part of your pitch. If you can get a piece of paper in front of the right editor – a super busy woman with plenty of secretaries to intercept bad letters – it shows you probably have the tenacity of a good writer.

If you are new to writing, starting with Elle Decor will hardly be possible because previously published articles are a must. You can write for some other magazines, get some experience along with good references, and then try to get to Elle Decor bearing in mind the above-mentioned suggestions.

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