As the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina draws near, the New Orleans community is focusing on the flooding that followed and rebuilding that continues today.

The Riverfront Alliance will host a free gathering where author Roberta Brandes Gratz will discuss her book, “We’re Still Here Ya Bastards: How the People of New Orleans Rebuilt Their City,” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20, at All Soul’s Episcopal Church, 5500 St. Claude Ave.

Gratz combines journalism and storytelling skills to share stories often ignored by the mainstream media. An urbanist, she resides in New Orleans and New York, and her book focuses on the strength and resilience of the New Orleans community.

New Orleans has moved from recovery and rebuilding into a renaissance period of growth and expansion, Gratz said. Using keen insights and cautionary examples, she examines ways to avoid a fourth word beginning with “R” to the list: regret.

The Riverfront Alliance is a volunteer coalition representing eight neighborhood and community organizations in New Orleans: Algiers Point, French Quarter Citizens, Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association, Holy Cross, Neighbors First for Bywater, Vieux Carre Property Owners and Residents Association, Esplanade Ridge — Treme Civic Association and Louisiana Landmarks.

The organization advocates for preservation of architectural integrity and residential quality of life. For information visit

Katrina quiz

Founded after Hurricane Katrina, recently released a 10-question quiz called the Levee Challenge.

“It’s intended to answer any lingering questions still out there 10 years after Katrina,” said founder Sandy Rosenthal. “The Levee Challenge separates the facts from the fairy tale relating to the flooding in New Orleans.”

The free quiz is on Surveymonkey, a cloud-based service company commonly used for surveys and polls but also as an educational tool.

The quiz is designed so that every question has a corresponding response with links to supporting data. The majority of the questions and answers were peer reviewed by four independent academic reviewers.

“Everyone deserves to know the facts about the worst civil engineering disaster in U.S. history,” said civil engineer H.J. Bosworth Jr., senior member of “The Levee Challenge is a great step in that direction.”

To take the quiz visit

Symphony of summer wear

Help the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra by helping the Encore Shop say goodbye to summer with a clearance sale from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25, to Saturday, Aug. 29, 7814 Maple St.

Look for dramatic markdowns on summer clothes, shoes, handbags and accessories. Special items include maxi and cocktail dresses, stylish sandals and straw hats.

The shop is making room for fall items and is open every Tuesday through Saturday, with sales benefiting our beloved New Orleans orchestra. Owned and operated by LPO volunteers, the consignment shop has offered quality designer clothing at reduced prices for more than 40 years.

For information, visit and click The Encore Shop. Call the shop at (504) 861-9028 to consign or donate items.

Lynne Jensen writes about New Orleans community events and people. Contact her at