By Susan Larson
The New Orleans Public Library is so grateful for Jewel Bush’s warm and thoughtful article about the New Orleans Public Library; we appreciate her support and her advocacy — and her patronage!
I am writing this as the secretary of the New Orleans Public Library Board, of which I have been a member since 2011. Much has transpired since the drafting of the consultant’s report cited in the article.
“How are you doing?”
“No, Superman does good; you’re doing well”
So goes the old exchange that quickly provides the context of good versus well, and how one should really use them properly. Among the titles New Orleans carries, The City that Care Forgot remains very real despite the influx of the educated and employed. And you can see it almost anywhere.
A convicted drug dealer received 15 years in prison this week for possession of a gun following an April 2013 foot chase in the B.W. Cooper area of Central City, and his co-defendant was sentenced to seven years after agreeing to testify in the same case, New Orleans prosecutors said.
A dispute between a Prytania Street property owner and the city over the paving of a yard for parking at an apartment complex is headed to Civil District Court, according to a recent report by Karen Gadbois of The Lens. The yard paving took place after Katrina without city permission, and the Board of Zoning Adjustments has denied a request by property owner Henry Rosenblat to keep it, Gadbois reports, but attorney Joel Loeffelholz convinced a city hearing officer to delay any further administrative action for 90 days while the issue plays out in court.
“We’re going to get some things done,” said Deputy Mayor Judy Reese Morse said at New Hope Baptist Church in Central City. “The grant will provide seed money to groups who are interested in actually working together to achieve something positive in our city.”
When officials introduced the program Monday night, however, they were met with both skepticism that any real results will be accomplished and promises from participants that they will press forward despite their misgivings.
The New Orleans Public Library System is in trouble.
Next year, the city has to find an additional $3 million just to keep the 13 current libraries open. That’s keep-the-lights-on money. Purchasing new books or investing in new library technologies are both out of the question under this scenario.
The Welcome Table New Orleans — a grant-funded effort “to facilitate meaningful and honest discussions about race in respectful, safe and structured spaces” — will launch tonight (Monday, April 28) with an informational session at New Hope Baptist Church at 1807 Lasalle Street in Central City.
Elk Place has seen better days, and poor transit planning is the most obvious culprit. Near the intersection with Canal, transit users wait alongside derelict and ill-maintained structures with inadequate shelter and seating. Drivers buzz by as throngs brave the elements to make their connections.
This is what happens when over 20 transit lines converge at one location, with over 5,000 riders boarding and disembarking streetcars and buses.
It’s a notorious disgrace. The immediate area has been slow to redevelop. The sidewalks are difficult to navigate and litter is an ongoing problem. Not only have transit users suffered – local businesses and property owners are dissatisfied as well.
Responding to complaints from students and parents alike, officials at Audubon Charter School are exploring using a new service for school lunches next year that they say provides markedly better food.