Aug 192014
 
A conceptual drawing of the proposed riverfront expansion of the Convention Center, including a new hotel. (via mccno.com)

A conceptual drawing of the proposed riverfront expansion of the Convention Center, including a new hotel. (via mccno.com)

As plans progress on a nearly $1 billion expansion into the Lower Garden District, the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is proposing a realignment of several streets to improve traffic flow through downtown, a new centralized hub for buses and taxis under the Pontchartrain Expressway, moving sidewalks to get conventioneers around the nearly mile-long facility, and possibly even an expansion of the riverfront streetcar to connect the upriver end of the project with the French Market, officials told neighbors Monday night. Continue reading »

Aug 192014
 
(Via Facebook)

Mike Stagg (photo via Facebook)

Environmental activist Mike Stagg, organizer of the March from Grand Isle to the Governor’s Mansion, will discuss Louisiana’s relationship with the oil and gas industry tonight (Tuesday, Aug. 19) in a public meeting at the Unitarian Universalist Church on South Claiborne. Continue reading »

Aug 182014
 

Sweeps by New Orleans city officials of a homeless encampment under the Pontchartrain Expressway ultimately moved the collection of tents and people closer to the river on the other side of St. Charles Avenue, according to a report by our partners at WWL-TV. City officials called the first camp a health hazard and said they were helping the people there get into shelters, but residents say the problem merely moved: “Clearly, if the garbage and human waste is a ‘public health concern’ on one side of St. Charles, it has to be considered a ‘public health concern’ on the other side of St. Charles,” nearby resident Jeff Keiser told The Advocate.

Aug 182014
 

Owen Courreges

“Get the f*** on the sidewalk.”

Those are the words that allegedly started the entire thing: the struggle, the shooting, the outrage and the riots.

Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson Police Department was quoted as uttering these words by Dorian Johnson, who was walking with Michael Brown in the street.  Brown was ultimately shot and killed by Officer Wilson, sparking a national firestorm. Continue reading »

Aug 172014
 
Leroy Boss, flag boy of the Flaming Arrows, and Louis Snoop" Thomas, flag boy of the Golden Blades outside of the Ashe Cultural Arts Center during Sunday's ceremony.  (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Leroy Boss, flag boy of the Flaming Arrows, and Louis Snoop” Thomas, flag boy of the Golden Blades outside of the Ashe Cultural Arts Center during Sunday’s ceremony. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

The annual Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame ceremony took place Sunday afternoon at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center in Central City. A conversation with elder Mardi Gras Indians kicked off the ceremony, followed by awards and tributes to deceased community members.  Flag boys from many different gangs were also given special recognition.

Allen Womble, first spy boy of the Cheyenne Hunters, and Darryl O'Neal, flag boy of the Cheyenne Hunters dance at the Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame ceremony at the Ashe Cultural Center. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Allen Womble, first spy boy of the Cheyenne Hunters, and Darryl O’Neal, flag boy of the Cheyenne Hunters dance at the Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame ceremony at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Continue reading »

Aug 162014
 
The front door of the Priestley school building in west Carrollton. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The front door of the Priestley school building in west Carrollton. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

lyceeA group of Carrollton neighborhood leaders expressed support for the Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans charter school’s plan to reopen the long-shuttered Priestley campus, but many hope the school can do more to benefit all the children of the neighborhood, they said this week. Continue reading »

Aug 152014
 
Images from a vigil Thursday afternoon for Anthony David Simon Jr., who was shot to death in February on Monroe Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

NOPD Detective Tanisha Sykes (left) and Angela Willis urge anyone with information about the Feb. 28 slaying of Willis’ son, Anthony David Simon, to come forward, as Simon’s two children look on. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Images from a vigil Thursday afternoon for Anthony David Simon Jr., who was shot to death in February on Monroe Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A photo of Anthony David Simon Jr. with his two daughters, Portland and Demi. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

On what would have been her son’s 27th birthday, Angela Willis stood at the Hollygrove intersection where David Anthony Simon Jr. was gunned down in front of his 4-year-old daughter nearly six months ago and begged for anyone with information to help New Orleans police find his killer. Continue reading »

Aug 152014
 

piano lessonThe Preparatory Arts Program at Loyola University New Orleans, hosting children of all ages, is currently enrolling ballet, piano, guitar, strings, voice, trumpet, and saxophone students for the 2014-2015 academic year. Ballet classes start September 2nd and music classes begin on September 8th. Continue reading »

Aug 142014
 

820 General Pershing Street, photographed in December 2012. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

820 General Pershing Street, photographed in December 2012. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

A request to tear down a vacant, century-old house just off Magazine Street on General Pershing that drew outcry from neighbors was postponed Thursday for at least a week by the New Orleans City Council. Continue reading »

Aug 142014
 
Demolition workers push over a wall of the former Frank's Steakhouse on Freret Street on Wednesday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Demolition workers push over a wall of the former Frank’s Steakhouse on Freret Street on Wednesday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Frank’s Steakhouse — the landmark restaurant that reigned over Freret Street for decades — was unceremoniously knocked to the ground on Wednesday in a dramatic illustration of the changing times in New Orleans.

The Frank’s complex in the 4500 block of Freret was the last major undeveloped property on the corridor since a wave of new business openings began around five years ago. On July 2, Arnold Kirschman finalized his purchase of the buildings from the Barreca family who had owned them for the better part of a century, as part of a plan to demolish the steakhouse in the center of the block to rebuild a stretch of buildings matching the old cleaners on the corner of Cadiz. Continue reading »

Aug 142014
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

What trait did actor/comedian Robin Williams and many of New Orleans homeless share?  Mental illness.  Like a majority of the homeless in New Orleans, Williams battled periodic bouts of substance abuse and depression until he finally “silenced the demons that relentlessly targeted him” earlier this week, as the Associate Press put it.

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the rate of mental illness increases as boomers age. According to the Center for Disease Control, the suicide rate for adults -  aged 45 to 64 – increased 40% from 1999 to 2011. An analysis by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention found that the suicide rate for middle- to late-middle-aged adults is higher than any other age group. Continue reading »