Robert Morris

Jul 072014
 

Owen Courreges

This time of year, when the mercury starts erupting comically out of the top of every thermometer, every New Orleanians eyes turn worriedly to their electricity bill. This is because whenever temperatures spike, so does the monthly amount we owe Entergy New Orleans, our much-maligned local electric utility.

Many people have long believed that Entergy is gouging them.  This is to be expected when bills skyrocket and people begin seeking out scapegoats. Continue reading »

Jul 032014
 

(map via NOPD)

(map via NOPD)

New Orleans Police have released surveillance photos and composite sketches of people believed to be involved in a number of recent robberies around the Uptown area — including a robbery at gunpoint Wednesday night in the Lower Garden District, a robbery at knifepoint Sunday evening the Irish Channel and an unarmed robbery last week at the edge of the Garden District. Continue reading »

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Jul 032014
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Everyone we know is talking about our off-the-charts crime problem.  While Bourbon Street could arguably be the most famous street in the world and crimes there like last Saturday’s shootings are truly shots heard ’round the world,  the depth of our crime problem is really in our neighborhoods.

What we need are out-of-the-box crime solutions. Continue reading »

Jul 012014
 
NOPD Commander Bob Bardy (right) confers with Officer Garry Flot outside the 59 Designz salon on LaSalle Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

NOPD Commander Bob Bardy (right) confers with Officer Garry Flot outside the 59 Designz salon on LaSalle Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The interior of the damaged 59 Designz salon on LaSalle Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The interior of the damaged 59 Designz salon on LaSalle Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

As the New Orleans Police Department continues its investigation into an on-duty officer’s crash into a Central City beauty salon, the department boarded up the damaged business Tuesday to secure it against opportunistic burglars.

“Certainly, we don’t want to make bad things worse,” said NOPD Sixth District Commander Bob Bardy on Tuesday afternoon. “We’re sorry this happened.” Continue reading »

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Jun 302014
 
Audubon Park's Shelter 11, near St. Charles Avenue, was recently renovated with private donations, and the park is asking the city to pay for similar renovations to the bathroom complexes on The Fly. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Audubon Park’s Shelter 11, near St. Charles Avenue, was recently renovated with private donations, and the park is asking the city to pay for similar renovations to the bathroom complexes on The Fly. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The city of New Orleans’ $12.5 million plan to repave the uppermost end of Magazine Street next year answers a major standing request from the Audubon Commission, but Audubon leaders are still requesting an additional $3.6 million in upgrades to the riverfront park known as “The Fly.” Continue reading »

Jun 302014
 

Owen Courreges

Jitney is probably a word few New Orleanians are familiar with, although historians believe that the work may have originated here.

Back in the early 20th century, systems of shared taxis, appeared in cities throughout America.  The cost for using one of these shared cabs was usually a nickel, or jitney.  The French Creole term “jeton,” which refers to a small coin or token, is widely believed to have been the inspiration for the word “jitney.”  Accordingly, the word probably came from New Orleans.

The basic scheme behind jitneys was simple:  An ordinary citizen could buy a used car or bus and run passengers around, usually far more cheaply and quickly than streetcars could.  Eventually, some jitney operators formed jitney companies and even jitney drivers’ unions. Continue reading »

Jun 272014
 

(map via NOPD)

(map via NOPD)

A stray bullet that hit a woman stepping off the St. Charles Avenue streetcar last weekend was fired during a gun battle between two groups on a side street where New Orleans’ tourist community and street violence often clash, police said this week.

The woman, who was visiting New Orleans from out-of-town with a group of people, had stepped off the St. Charles Avenue streetcar near Erato Street around 11:50 p.m. Saturday (June 21) when she was hit in the hip by a bullet, said NOPD Commander Bob Bardy.

“The victim was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said NOPD Sgt. Daniel Scanlan. “She gets off the streetcar and she’s standing there, when a gun battle breaks out down the street.”

Police found 27 .45-caliber shell casings on Erato closer to Carondelet, Scanlan said. The only video recovered so far appears to show two groups of two people each shooting at one another, Scanlan said, and investigators are trying to get the footage enhanced so it will be more useful to investigators.

Sixth District police were called to another shooting not far away on Danneel Street about 20 minutes after the St. Charles Avenue incident, and originally considered the possibility that the gun battle had simply moved locations, Bardy said. Investigators have since determined that the Danneel Street shooting was unrelated, possibly tied to a dispute between two men over a woman, Bardy said.

Saturday’s shooting was latest outbreak of gun violence on St. Charles near Erato Street. In 2012, two people were injured in a shooting during a Mardi Gras parade at the same intersection. During parades, police regularly make gun arrests there as well — such as in 2012, in both the first weekend and second weekend of parades in 2013, and again in 2014.

Bardy said Saturday’s shooting shows the need for participation in the new Safecam NOLA program that will create an index of private surveillance cameras around the city. Theoretically, Bardy said, such a system would allow investigators in the Sixth District station to track the suspects after they ran off on Erato Street, possibly finding a better image of them on the way.

Anyone who can help with the investigation is urged to call Sixth District detectives at 658-6060, or to call CrimeStoppers at 822-1111 to leave an anonymous tip that could be eligible for a cash reward.

Jun 272014
 

Lt. Gen. Russell Honore speaks in February at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in New Orleans. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Lt. Gen. Russell Honore speaks in February at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in New Orleans. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Lt. Gen. Russell Honore, who has become one of Louisiana’s most prominent environmental-justice activists since his retirement from the U.S. Army, spoke Thursday night at a rally at the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church against the rebuilding of the Booker T. Washington School on the 1930s-era Silver City waste dump site in Central City, where dangerous levels of arsenic, lead and other heavy metals reportedly remain in the soil. The Recovery School District says replacing the top layer of soil will be sufficient to make it safe for Walter L. Cohen High School to move in, reports Tania Dall of our partners at WWL-TV.

Continue reading »