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Forward thinking

An entirely subjective look at the week ahead

Published September 19, 2005


If things go according to New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's plan, residents of the Algiers neighborhood will be allowed to return to their homes today. Folks with homes in the Uptown district are scheduled to return later this week, French Quarter denizens next week. The Crescent City is still a long, long way from being healed, but it's downright amazing to see the first step this soon.


The latest installment in Walter Mosley's terrific Easy Rawlins series comes to bookstores today. Starting with Devil in a Blue Dress, set just after World War II, Mosley's novels form a vivid and stinging history of black Los Angeles. Cinnamon Kiss brings Easy up to 1967, on a case that takes him to San Francisco in the Summer of Love.


The Hillsborough County Commission probably isn't gearing up to celebrate this, but the American Library Association kicks off its Banned Books Week on Saturday with a special effort to raise awareness of attacks on gay- and lesbian-themed books, like three on this year's "10 Most Banned" list: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, King & King by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland, and Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. On the organization's Web site, president Michael Gorman says, "The voices and stories of gays and lesbians cannot be silenced in our culture or on our bookshelves."


There will be plenty of democratic exchange of ideas in Washington on Saturday. While first lady Laura Bush hosts the 2005 National Book Festival on the National Mall, a coalition of dozens of antiwar groups, including United for Peace and Justice and Cindy Sheehan's Gold Star Families for Peace, will hold a rally to end the war on the Ellipse, across from the White House, and a march. Organizers expect at least 100,000 participants. A prowar counterprotest organized by Free Republic, Protest Warrior and others will take place along the parade route.


They were born not just in the USA but in the great state of New Jersey. Debbie (You Light Up My Life) Boone, born in Hackensack, turns 49 on Thursday. Seinfeld sidekick Jason Alexander, a Newark native, will be 46 on Friday, the same day the guy we're really talking about here, Freehold's fabulous Bruce Springsteen, turns 56.

- COLETTE BANCROFT, Times staff writer, 727 893-8435 or

[Last modified September 17, 2005, 11:41:20]

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