UptownMessenger.com

Jul 202017
 

Louis Gurvich (courtesy photo)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

New Orleans business leader Louis Gurvich, a long-time member of the Orleans Parish Republican Executive Committee and the Republican State Central Committee, wants to be elected chairman of Louisiana’s Republican Party, now 900,000 members strong. If elected, Gurvich will succeed current state party chair Roger Villere, who is retiring after overseeing the Republicans’ rise to dominance in state politics over the last 14 years. Villere is the longest-serving state GOP chair in the U.S. and is vice chair of the Republican National Committee.

“When Roger first became chair, the Louisiana Republican Party was a much smaller, less powerful organization,” said Gurvich, who also previously served on the Orleans Parish Board of Election Supervisors. Secretary of State Fox McKeithen was the only Republican statewide elected official. Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards is the only statewide elected Democrat. The number of parish-level and regional Republican elected officials has also grown significantly. Continue reading »

Jul 132017
 

Candidates for mayor by noon Thursday were (from top left) Michael Bagneris, LaToya Cantrell, Desiree Charbonnet, Charles Anderson, Bryon Cole, Matthew Hill, Johnese Smith. (photos by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

For anyone who loves politics, qualifying days for the October 14 election are exciting. It’s a time of reckoning when those who have been telling the public they will run have to pay the qualifying fees. All is revealed.

Close to 40 candidates along with family and friends and a large contingency of local media have already crowded into the offices of Clerk of Criminal Court Arthur Morrell, where the process takes place. Each candidate first completes the necessary paperwork and then raises his or her right hand to swear the accuracy of information presented. Candidates whose information – including compliance with residency and tax requirements – later proves to be inaccurate often face legal challenges. Continue reading »

Jul 102017
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

When it comes to the day-to-day concerns of ordinary New Orleanians, it has become increasingly clear that Mayor Landrieu has, to put it mildly, completely tuned out. Gone are those halcyon days when Landrieu at least gave lip service, if not substantive effort, towards governing our fair city.

It’s becoming clear that Landrieu’s attentions have been completely diverted, and his efforts have tilted entirely in favor of preening for a national audience. Continue reading »

Jul 062017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

When state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson told Gambit last week she was “doing all the due diligence that a serious potential candidate has to do” before entering the race for mayor, one of her chief tasks was a meeting with her protégée, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell.

Cantrell felt betrayed, disappointed, and hurt, according to sources close to the family, and the ever-feisty Cantrell quickly responded that she was in the mayor’s race to stay. Last night, the popular senator reversed course and announced that she would not join the mayor’s race after all. Continue reading »

Jun 262017
 

A screen shot of a five-unit AirBnB listing at the corner of Prytania and Josephine. (via airbnb.com)

Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

In the Federalist Papers, James Madison famously ruminated on the necessity of government.

“[W]hat is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” Madison asked rhetorically in Federalist No. 51. “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

It is because men are not angels (indeed, far from it) that we need the controls imposed by government. Even those laws that are overly restrictive and burdensome usually find their origins in the inability of citizens to do the right thing. Continue reading »

Jun 232017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

This week’s tropical storm Cindy is just the latest example that the New Orleans region and the entire Gulf Coast must become better at living with water rather than merely struggling to defeat it. From powerful waves breaking over the sea walls on Lakeshore Drive and in Covington to flooding caused by storm surge in Venetian Isles, Myrtle Grove and Grand Isle, we must employ what the Dutch call “inventive urbanism” to make our towns and cities more resilient. Continue reading »

Jun 232017
 

The former Zara’s building on Prytania after renovations began, photographed in April 2016. (via Google Maps)

By Canela Lopez

The owners of the former Zara’s location on Prytania Street in the Lower Garden District still plan to move forward with their plan for a new neighborhood grocery there, but need to rezone the property in order to proceed, they told neighbors Monday night. Continue reading »

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Jun 122017
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Tensions have been boiling over between District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro and Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

On June 7, an opinion piece ran in the New Orleans Advocate by Cannizzaro accusing Landrieu of having “repeatedly placed politics above public safety.”

“The only objective of this policy has been to create the illusion of public safety, regardless of what is actually occurring on the streets,” Cannizzaro continued. “In so doing, he has ultimately endangered the citizens of New Orleans.” Continue reading »

Jun 092017
 

“Eating a good creole tomato is just like eating a strawberry.” – Uber Driver

(via Creole Tomato Festival)

They’re here: back-road vegetable stand tables and farmer’s markets laden with baskets of huge red homegrown tomatoes. Some might say that the Creole Tomato is a season unto itself in Louisiana. I guess we can add it to parade season, crawfish season, and football season. But, then again, New Orleans has always had its own way of telling time. Continue reading »

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Jun 052017
 

Police load the body of a homicide victim into the coroner’s van after a fatal shooting at the corner of LaSalle and Amelia street in the Milan neighborhood on January 22, 2017. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Is there somebody you’re furious with? An embezzling partner, perhaps? An unfaithful lover? A guy who drove too slow in the fast lane?

Well, allow me to present a now-viable option to the quandary of dealing with these miscreants. Murder! Murder will eliminate the problem immediately. Statistics show that over 99% of murdered persons are rendered perfectly innocuous. Continue reading »

May 222017
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

After 133 years of standing tall over the New Orleans skyline, Robert E. Lee has been toppled. The last removal of Confederate statuary has unceremoniously been effected.

For Mayor Landrieu, this has been marked with a great deal of self-congratulation. In a speech delivered to a select elite at Gallier Hall, he vigorously defended his removal scheme. Pundits have spoken openly about how removals may enhance Landrieu’s political capital. The New York Times even cited him as a possible presidential nominee. Continue reading »

May 182017
 

City council members Susan Guidry and Jared Brossett pose for a photo with Caroline Fayard at a rally for Fayard in 2016. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

It’s official! District D Councilmember Jared Brossett will run for re-election rather than entering the growing field for city council at-large.

“After much praying and introspection about what will best benefit the citizens of New Orleans, I decided to continue to serve in District D,” Brossett told a pack crowd of supporters last night at the Maison du Lac. “There is more work to be done. We have made great investments and by all coming together the city will continue to improve.” Continue reading »

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May 042017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

State Representative Stephanie Hilferty hails from the most conservative legislative district in New Orleans – House District 94 in Lakeview. In a move that has scorched the hearts of some of New Orleans’ biggest job and tax generators, Republican Hilferty is joining Mayor Mitch Landrieu — considered in some circles around the state to be a tax-and-spend Democrat — in an wildcard move to divert tax dollars already dedicated to the Morial Convention Center to a new taxing authority, the New Orleans Street Maintenance District. Continue reading »

May 012017
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

You don’t expect a professional Poker player to inadvertently reveal his hand. His face may betray him, or his confidence morph into hubris, but any experienced professional keeps his cards close. A novice is far more likely to sputter and fumble, ultimately exposing himself to the other vultures at the table.

This brings us to Mayor Landrieu. In the game of politics, Landrieu is supposed to be a consummate professional, a scion of a local political dynasty. Lately, however, in his management of the controversy over his scheme to raze four monuments, he’s been behaving like a rookie. Continue reading »