University of Idaho College of Law Public Interest Law Group

Posts Tagged ‘Biloxi

Food and Fun in Biloxi

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Food and Fun at Taranto’s

In our free time, we have been going out to dinner and hanging out at our hotel.

Tuesday night: Crystal Utley, an attorney from MCJ took us to a place called Taranto’s. They served classic gulf coast cuisine – Crawfish served by the lb, 10 kinds of po-boys, Crab (Dungeness, blue, snow), hush puppies and “Southern Pecan” Beer (a beer made 100% from pecans, and actually quite delicious). The food was cheap and oh so tasty! One of the patrons asked the waitress who we were and what we were doing in Biloxi. I guess 20 some “Yankees” sitting in the middle of a small restaurant must have stuck out a little. The waitress told him we were working on Hurricane Katrina relief. The man gave the waitress about $200 to take $10 off of all of our tabs. My tab was only $0.96! I guess we had some good karma.

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Written by jrdo410

March 13, 2008 at 8:29 pm

Track II Update – Biloxi Vietnamese Population Helped by MCJ and Boat People

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Anna and Erika outside a MEMA cottage

Imagine navigating a maze of bureaucracy in the aftermath of a storm. Your house is destroyed, gas and food prices are through the roof. What federal and state grants are available to you? How do you know if you are eligible?


Now imagine trying to navigate this bureaucratic maze in a foreign language. Beyond hello and goodbye, you have almost no English skills whatsoever.

This is exactly what many Vietnamese immigrants are going through right now in Biloxi, MS. There are about 4,500 Vietnamese living in Biloxi right now. Biloxi’s total population is around 50,000, pre-Katrina.

Today I spoke with a Vietnamese man who was living in a mobile home before the storm. His home and everything he owned was destroyed, including all of his tools for work.


Thankfully, there is an organization that can help bridge the information gap. Boat People SOS “Meeting Urgent Needs Today, Empowering Vietnamese Communities for Tomorrow.”


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Written by jrdo410

March 12, 2008 at 6:58 pm

Mississippi Center for Justice Day 1

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biloxi-005.jpg biloxi-006.jpgbiloxi-014.jpgbiloxi-017.jpg

FEMA Trailer_________MCJ Office__________ Closed Store_________ Housing

After spending the first two nights in New Orleans, we arrived in Biloxi at 8:30 this morning. From what I have seen of the city thus far, it is basically a few large casinos surrounded by severely run down neighborhoods. Most of the trees appear dead and have no leaves. The area looks thoroughly depressed.


We spent most of the day learning about the situation here in Biloxi and getting an overview of what we will be doing for the rest of the week. I wasn’t aware of the details of the storm before today. The eye of Katrina came directly over this area, causing a 30 foot high storm “surge” to crash into the Gulf shore. This surge flooded houses over 12 miles inland. As one of our supervising attorney’s put it today – “New Orleans was a bad situation because the faulty leaves failed. In Biloxi, the storm surged caused most of the damage, and many homes outside the “flood plain” were totally flooded.”


We also received a history of Mississippi Center for Justice and a description of current activities from attorneys John Jopling, Reilly Morse, and Crystal Utley. We had a great lunch with the students from Roger Williams, about 20 of us in total, at a nice Vietnamese restaurant – Long Kim’s. After lunch, we received more in depth instruction on the projects we were going to be working on.

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Written by jrdo410

March 11, 2008 at 3:55 am

2008 Alternative Spring Break Activities

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Spring Break 2008 – Where are we going?

This year, we are again planning to do a spring break – this year’s trip will be much bigger. We are going to send students to three different destinations: the Gulf Coast – New Orleans, LA/Biloxi, MS, Washington, D.C., and Boise.

Here is a short description of the different projects we will be working on:

New Orleans, LA/Biloxi, MS

We will again be returning to the devastated Gulf Cost region. As New Orleans continues to rebuild, many of the outlying areas are being neglected. This year we will be flying into New Orleans, and then working on the legal needs of the people in these outlying areas.

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Big Easy Banquet raises money for law student service trips

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Written by Jessica Mullins – Argonaut

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

It was good, home-style cooking. But the food was unlike what many community members, such as Larry and Carol Lass, are used to.
The two Moscow residents went to the Big Easy Banquet on Friday. They supported University of Idaho College of Law students while enjoying traditional Southern cooking.
The food was good and different, Carol said of the options that included gumbo, chicken po-boy, peach cobbler, cheese grits and sweet tea. The Moscow Food Co-Op donated king cakes to the event.
The Public Interest Law Group, a three-year-old UI law school organization, hosted the banquet to raise funds for alternative service break trips to New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and Boise.
“There is still a lot that has to be done down there,” said Jordan Tayor, PILG president, a second-year law student from Lewiston.
PILG member and third-year student R.J. Linnan was the main chef for the banquet. Linnan, who used to live in Florida, spent more than 15 hours preparing the food. He used his grandmother’s recipes. Read the rest of this entry »

For the Second Year, Making a Difference Trumps Getting a Tan

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University of Idaho Press Release Jan. 24, 2008

Law Students Expand Scope of Alternative Spring Break

MOSCOW, Idaho – Last spring, 14 University of Idaho College of Law students headed for post-Katrina New Orleans to unwind. Specifically, to unwind the red tape that tends to bundle into a Gordian knot when governmental, social and legal infrastructures are swept away.

The students participated in Alternative Spring Break, helping victims of Hurricane Katrina to untangle legal issues and providing manual labor, free of charge.

It’s a decidedly different kind of spring break.

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