Robert Morris

Jun 032013

Mayor Mitch Landrieu joins hands with several children to jump into the pool at the Lyons Center after a grand re-opening ceremony Monday morning. (Robert Morris,

Irish Channel Neighborhood Association president Kara Morgan gestures to indicate the wide range of communities that use the Lyons Center at its re-opening celebration Monday. (Robert Morris,

Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the crowds of city and neighborhood officials with him had a nearly perfect soundtrack of every step of their way through the newly reopened Lyons Center in the Irish Channel on Monday morning.

In the lobby, it was the tinkling of an electric piano as ballet dancers rehearsed in a studio behind the news conference podium. In the gym, it was a group of musicians performing the Harlem Globetrotters theme “Sweet Georgia Brown” as Landrieu shot a few baskets. They kept up the music out by the pool, but were hard to hear over the squeals and splashing as the mayor gently dunked some of his youngest constituents.

Even the background chatter was on message, as the kindergarten-aged “Bears” group of day campers lined up in a hallway and gawked at the TV cameras passing by.

“You’re going to be on the news!” instructor Valencia Delair whispered, a stern smile on her face as she kept the 5-year-olds corralled. “You are super-stars. You are going to be on the news — for all the right reasons!” Continue reading »

Jun 032013

Owen Courreges

The Times-Picayune has adopted a new crusade – renter’s rights.

It started with a series of pieces from Times-Pic staff writer Richard Webster regarding the limited rights tenants have in Louisiana.  Webster noted that housing advocates are pushing for Louisiana to adopt the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act of 1972, which has only been adopted in a minority of states with significant variations (hence, it isn’t very “uniform”). Continue reading »

Jun 012013

Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans board member Erin Greenwald will join the committee searching for a new CEO after the previous nominee rejected an offer from the school, according to a report by The Lens. Meanwhile, board member Dan Henderson has resigned as he had suggested he would at the board’s last regular meeting, opening the spot for another of the new members to be seated, the report states.

Jun 012013

Jurors will be able to hear statements to police by Sheldon Jefferson, 15, and Christopher Davis, 18, allegedly confessing to their roles in the violent carjacking and rape of a Garden District resident in February, when the case goes to trial in July, based on a court ruling Friday by Judge Franz Zibilich reported on by Claire Galofaro of The Advocate. The third suspect, 17-year-old Joseph Davis, did not speak to investigators, and attorney Robert Jenkins is requesting that he be tried separately — though Zibilich says he will still finish the trial by summer’s end, Galofaro reports.

 Comments Off
Jun 012013

Sen. Karen Carter Peterson

State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson — who represents much of Uptown New Orleans and chairs the state Democratic Party — attributed racist motivations to opponents of expanding Medicaid health care coverage to the state’s estimated 400,000 uninsured residents, and both Gov. Bobby Jindal and state Republican Party chair Roger Villere have denounced her remarks, according to a report by Paul Murphy and our partners at WWL-TV:

Jun 012013

The Future is Now charter organization — tasked by the Recovery School District last year with overseeing the final two years of Walter L. Cohen High School as New Orleans College Prep takes over the campus one year at a time — is now having second thoughts about that commitment, according to a report by Della Hasselle of The Lens. Cohen is a burden on the budget for Future is Now, which also governs John McDonogh High School, charter officials have said, and they are meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday to discuss dropping Cohen in the coming year, Hasselle reports.

May 312013

Map of areas that New Orleans Fire Department ladder trucks can reach within eight minutes presented at Thursday’s meeting.

Removal of a ladder truck from the fire station on Arabella Street will reduce the safety of the surrounding Uptown neighborhood and represents a dangerous trend of reducing the size of the New Orleans Fire Department, the president of the firefighters’ union said Thursday night in the latest round of debate over the issue.

City officials countered that the entire neighborhood will still be protected by the most important firefighting equipment — a pumper truck — and that the redeployment set to go into effect later this summer represents the best use of the city’s resources. But residents remained unconvinced, and are continuing their effort to keep the ladder truck in service.
Continue reading »

 Comments Off
May 312013

Tulane President Scott Cowen speaks about the university’s proposed stadium at City Hall in June 2012. ( file photo by Robert Morris)

Tulane University President Scott Cowen — who led the university through Hurricane Katrina into a controversial rebuilding process and is bringing Tulane football back to the Uptown campus after decades in the Superdome — will retire at the end of the next school year, he announced Friday. Continue reading »

May 302013

This week, @Sweden is talking on Twitter about an industrial design conference and the proper playlist for an afternoon run. Last week it was scenes from a musician’s 900-kilometer walking tour around the country, and before that it was the minutiae of international hockey drama — each week, another unique view of life narrated by another Swede.

“I thought it was really interesting that they were taking people from one place that had different experiences,” said Champ Superstar, one of the better-known Twitter personalities in New Orleans, and a longtime follower of the @Sweden account. “I’ve been thinking for a long time, like for a year, that this would be cool to do for New Orleans. I kind of waited for someone else to start it and even mentioned it on Twitter from time to time, and finally I just thought, ‘Today’s the day.’” Continue reading »