UptownMessenger.com

May 102016
 

By Chunlin Leonhard

Mr. Robbie Evans, the vice president of the board that governs the Choice Foundation, a three-school charter network in New Orleans, recently urged the Lusher Charter School teachers to vote against their fellow teachers’ efforts to unionize, describing the union as “an impediment to charter schools’ progress.” (The Advocate, Monday, May 9, 2016 p. 1B) He also commented about “union-created deadlock where only ineffective and possibly abusive teachers would benefit,” pointing to the infamous “rubber rooms” associated with New York public schools –“temporary reassignment centers where union-represented teachers accused of misconduct or incompetency have been sent while they await rulings from independent arbitrators.” (Id.)

Mr. Evans’ comments are not only outdated but also completely inapplicable to the unionization efforts at Lusher. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Letter to the editor: Ben Franklin teachers union provides strong model for Lusher
May 092016
 
The Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard statue is located on Esplanade Avenue near the entrance of New Orleans City Park (Photo courtesy of James/Flickr).

The Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard statue is located on Esplanade Avenue near the entrance of New Orleans City Park (Photo courtesy of James/Flickr).

Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

I’m not sure that you could ever find two political figures more disparate than Mayor Mitch “Sinkhole” Landrieu and Pierre T. G. Beauregard.

This is not to say that there aren’t similarities. Beauregard, like Landrieu, was born into a wealthy and influential family. However, unlike Landrieu, Beauregard soon established himself independently of his family name. Continue reading »

May 062016
 
Eggplant Com over Brown Rice with Fried Egg (Kristine Froeba)

Eggplant Com over Brown Rice with Fried Egg (Kristine Froeba)

Summer is coming, and New Orleanians are seeking lighter fare. Many are also seeking healthier choices. Magasin Café offers both. The restaurant is popular and has become a mainstay for both the Magazine foodie crowd and the health-conscious. Magasin Café has proven so successful in fact, that late last year, the small restaurant expanded, adding a second location, Magasin Kitchen, in the CBD.

Kristine Froeba

Kristine Froeba

The husband and wife team of Kim Nguyen and Luu Tran, along with Kim’s mother Luot Nguyen, create each of the restaurant’s dishes. It could be said that Magasin is one restaurant with three chefs, but endless ways to customize one’s meal. Kim Nguyen states that their goal was to “take the best of our Vietnamese roots, combined with countless hours of research, to create dishes that we grew up eating and introduce them to the rest of the world.”  They have also created one of the few uptown restaurants where it’s easy to monitor nutritional content. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Kristine Froeba: Magasin: Authentic and healthy Vietnamese on Magazine  Tagged with:
May 052016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Caroline Zetzmann Calhoun, 2016 Whitney Bank Zoo To Do Chair, and her team of 400 volunteers serving on 15 committees have been working overtime for weeks to put the final touches on May 6th’s thirty-ninth annual extravaganza which will draw 5,000 attendees and benefit Audubon Zoo’s Tropical Bird House.

The culmination of a year’s worth of cajoling corporate donors, restaurants, bars, and other sponsors, this year’s gala is expected to raise $1.2 million and serve as the match for millions more in foundation, public and private sector gifts which form the basis of Audubon Institute’s almost $50 million annual budget. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: Zoo-To-Do serves as million-dollar cornerstone for Audubon Institute  Tagged with:
May 032016
 
Zohreh Khaleghi of The Flaming Torch

Zohreh Khaleghi of The Flaming Torch

Greater New Orleans’ citizens are arguably the most flexible people in the country. We take turns with our fellow drivers on narrow cobblestone streets, we know the secret route to get to our house during parade season, and boil water advisories keep us on our toes. These are just a few quirks that make us curious to outsiders and unite us as New Orleanians.

Another reason for us to band together is coming to a road near you! We will be facing drainage system improvements and road construction for the next five years. Funds from FEMA as well as our Department of Public Works have been designated and projects have been mapped through 2019 and we need to stay flexible (as we do) in the name of long-term infrastructure improvements!

Along with those experiencing personal inconveniences and dissatisfactions, our local businesses on these routes are taking a hard economic hit. New Orleans’ businesses need to feel our support and the impact of local dollars now at this critical time of business disruption because they are the backbone of our city’s culture, economy and character. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on StayLocal presents Shopkeeper Stories: Zohreh Khaleghi of The Flaming Torch  Tagged with:
May 022016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

sinkhole

noun sink·hole \ˈsiŋk-ˌhōl\

: a low area or hole in the ground that is formed especially when soil and rocks are removed by flowing water

The most appropriate metaphor for Mitch Landrieu’s tenure as mayor of New Orleans would be a sinkhole. If there’s a monument to the Landrieu’s legacy, it will be a gigantic Hell-maw (the devourer-of-Hondas) located right smack in the middle of a major thoroughfare. Continue reading »

Apr 292016
 

Guy’s is back. Marvin is back. Lunch is back.

Roast Beef Po-Boy from Guy's (Kristine Froeba)

Roast Beef Po-Boy from Guy’s (Kristine Froeba)

Guy’s Po-Boys reopened last week. There was little fanfare, but owner, chef, and sole sandwich maker Marvin Matherne doesn’t operate on fanfare; he serves lunch. The restaurant is already packed daily, the small dining room filled. The exterior paint is brighter, the fixtures newer, but the menu remains unchanged.

Kristine Froeba

Kristine Froeba

Guy’s doesn’t serve fancy food. It serves great food. The Po-Boys are of the variety found in the traditional corner New Orleans Po-Boy shop. Overfilled seafood with pickles and hot sauce and Blue Plate slathered, messy, gravy-laden Roast Beef – all on Leidenheimers. Continue reading »

Apr 282016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Instead of making his passionate plea from one of the city’s more dangerous inner city neighborhoods where residents experience crime day after day, Mayor Landrieu chose the relative safety of Tulane University and the campus police who could help protect attendees. Who was Landrieu’s real intended audience — the neighborhoods that can afford extra security or the law-abiding citizens who are afraid to let their kids play outside? Was Landrieu’s speech a positioning statement for his future in the Clinton administration? Continue reading »

Apr 272016
 
J.P. France, Tulane redshirt sophomore pitcher, throws the ball in the first inning of their game against LSU at Turchin stadium. The Green Wave beat the Tigers 4-1.

J.P. France, Tulane redshirt sophomore pitcher, throws the ball in the first inning of their game against LSU at Turchin stadium. The Green Wave beat the Tigers 4-1.

By Lindsay Caton for Uptown Messenger

Tulane played strong defense Tuesday night against a top 15 ranked LSU team to come up with a big 4-1 victory over the Tigers. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Tulane baseball prevails 4-1 over Top 15-ranked LSU
Apr 252016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Perhaps the most crucial skill a citizen can have when viewing the myriad policies proposed by politicians is knowing the difference between that which is substantive, and that which panders. The electorate should know when a politician is genuinely trying to make the world better, as opposed to merely looking like they’re trying to make the world better.

Alas, New Orleanians were exposed to the latter this past Friday, when Mayor Mitch Landrieu, flanked by Councilmembers Jason Williams and James Gray, proposed a five-part ordinance “aimed at promoting gun safety in New Orleans.” Continue reading »

Apr 212016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Charter schools are big business in New Orleans. They basically operate in their own world and are answerable not to the voters but only to their individual boards, each of which is like a mini OPSB.

Charter school organizations can hire whomever they want, pay whatever salaries they want, and purchase supplies and equipment from vendors of their own choosing. As the more successful charter school organizations get the opportunity to start up (or take over) additional schools, their fiefdom grows. Continue reading »

Apr 192016
 
Children dance during a performance at Lusher Charter School's morning meeting in December 2011. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

Children dance during a performance at Lusher Charter School’s morning meeting in December 2011. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

By Jana K. Lipman

I am writing to support Lusher teachers, and I want to share my thoughts as a labor historian, a teacher, a former union member, and a parent of two children at Lusher.

Many friends and fellow parents have said they are normally pro-union or progressive, but that teachers, and particularly Lusher teachers, do not need a union.  This is for Lusher teachers to decide themselves.  Parents can support or not support unionization efforts (clearly, I am also taking a side), but ultimately this is a decision for the teachers to make. Continue reading »

Apr 192016
 
Evie Poitevent of Feet First

Evie Poitevent of Feet First

Greater New Orleans’ citizens are arguably the most flexible people in the country. We take turns with our fellow drivers on narrow cobblestone streets, we know the secret route to get to our house during parade season, and boil water advisories keep us on our toes. These are just a few quirks that make us curious to outsiders and unite us as New Orleanians.

Another reason for us to band together is coming to a road near you! We will be facing drainage system improvements and road construction for the next five years. Funds from FEMA as well as our Department of Public Works have been designated and projects have been mapped through 2019 and we need to stay flexible (as we do) in the name of long-term infrastructure improvements!

Along with those experiencing personal inconveniences and dissatisfactions, our local businesses on these routes are taking a hard economic hit. New Orleans’ businesses need to feel our support and the impact of local dollars now at this critical time of business disruption because they are the backbone of our city’s culture, economy and character. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on StayLocal presents Shopkeeper Stories: Evie Poitevent of Feet First  Tagged with:
Apr 152016
 

Daily Brunch, Goat Cheese Enchiladas, and Mirlitons in a French Country Setting

The Standard. Did you ever stumble upon a restaurant so delightful you immediately wanted to text all of your friends, but also wanted to keep it all to yourself? I found one on Wednesday. The Standard. It was one of those cool rain drenched days in New Orleans–the kind where you can’t decide if outside is worth the effort.

Lump Crab, Crawfish, Mirliton, and Alligator Andouille Sausage Gumbo (Kristine Froeba)

Lump Crab, Crawfish, Mirliton, and Alligator Andouille Sausage Gumbo (Kristine Froeba)

Kristine Froeba

Kristine Froeba

Wellie-clad, I peered through the window of the new place across from Magasin Café. I saw a roaring fire. I was sold. Provencal décor at its most simple and elegant. Reclaimed wood. It looked expensive. It wasn’t. It should be. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Kristine Froeba: The Standard—A new gourmand delight on Magazine  Tagged with:
Apr 142016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

The voters’ rejection of Mayor Landrieu’s tax proposal to fund additional police officers and pay firefighters’ back pensions was not a vote against the need for the tax but a clear sign of voter dissatisfaction and mistrust of Mayor Landrieu’s public safety policies and leadership. While the mayor obviously needs to address that anger, new sources of funding are still desperately needed if devastating cuts are to be avoided.

Landrieu and the City Council could shore up our tax base by ensuring New Orleans becomes the next American city to enact a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. A “sin tax” on the purchase of carbonated soft drinks is on the books in many countries around the world including France, Barbados and Mexico, where consumption of sodas declined after the tax was enacted. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: Could a tax on soft drinks help solve city’s budget problems?  Tagged with:
Apr 112016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

On Saturday, around 11:30 p.m., former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith was driving through my neighborhood. He was with his wife, Racquel. As he approached Felicity Street while driving eastbound on Sophie Wright Place, he was allegedly rear-ended by one Cardell Hayes.

Hayes and Smith exited their respective vehicles and got into a heated argument. Hayes pulled a gun, at which point Smith ostensibly turned. Hayes then sprayed out a hail of bullets, hitting Smith in his back and right torso. Smith bled out at the scene. Raquel was struck in her right leg.

Smith was much beloved in New Orleans, and this senseless act of violence has thus struck a chord with many. A makeshift memorial appeared Sunday near the scene of the shooting. Continue reading »

Apr 082016
 
Imperial Woodpecker Sno-balls (Kristine Froeba)

Imperial Woodpecker Sno-balls (Kristine Froeba)

The tradition of the corner snowball, snoball, or sno-ball stand in New Orleans lives on. If you’re a local, you already know all about the famous Hansen’s Sno-Bliz. The Hansen family invented their Sno-Bliz machine in 1939. The Nectar Cream, the beloved Wedding Cake flavor, and the line around the corner on Tchoup. Visitors see the line and ask: “What are those people waiting in line for…?” If you’re not a local, you’ll know soon enough.

Kristine Froeba

Kristine Froeba

The latest entrée into the snowball scene is Imperial Woodpecker Sno-balls on Magazine near Harry’s Ace. Gourmet flavors such as Cardamom abound, the service is uber-friendly, special flavors are made daily. The Natural flavor range is a big hit and locals are taking notice. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Kristine Froeba: Snowball Season Is Here—Gourmet Flavored Ice at Uptown’s Oldest and Newest Snowball Stands  Tagged with:
Apr 052016
 
Dave Holt of Nola Beaux Ties

Dave Holt of Nola Beaux Ties

Greater New Orleans’ citizens are arguably the most flexible people in the country. We take turns with our fellow drivers on narrow cobblestone streets, we know the secret route to get to our house during parade season, and boil water advisories keep us on our toes. These are just a few quirks that make us curious to outsiders and unite us as New Orleanians.

Another reason for us to band together is coming to a road near you! We will be facing drainage system improvements and road construction for the next five years. Funds from FEMA as well as our Department of Public Works have been designated and projects have been mapped through 2019 and we need to stay flexible (as we do) in the name of long-term infrastructure improvements!

Along with those experiencing personal inconveniences and dissatisfactions, our local businesses on these routes are taking a hard economic hit. New Orleans’ businesses need to feel our support and the impact of local dollars now at this critical time of business disruption because they are the backbone of our city’s culture, economy and character. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on StayLocal presents Shopkeeper Stories: Dave Holt of NOLA Beaux Ties  Tagged with:
Apr 042016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

New Orleans is not a kind place to renters. Last week, CNN/Money named our fair city one of the worst cities for renters in the U.S. Last year, the Atlantic opined about the “myth” of New Orleans’ affordability, highlighting our low wages, increasing rents, and lack of habitable housing units. In general, the press has been rather negative of late.

Worst of all, we can’t say it isn’t true. Continue reading »