UptownMessenger.com

Feb 092017
 

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell (left) helps A.P. Marullo cut the ribbon on the new CC’s Coffeehouse in Mid-City. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

When supporters are asked why they think LaToya Cantrell might make a good mayor, they always talk about her commitment to the community, hard work after Katrina and willingness to take on issues others shy away from. In short, she is known as a fighter.

[Note: This is the first in a series of columns analyzing the potential candidates in the upcoming New Orleans mayoral race.] Continue reading »

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Jan 262017
 

The Women’s March gathers at Duncan Plaza on Saturday, Jan. 21. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

“The New Orleans Women’s March was amazing,” State Senator Karen Carter Peterson told the mostly female crowd at her fundraiser Monday night. “I had no idea what to expect.” Flanked by Governor John Bel Edwards and Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Carter Peterson said the march showed that women share “a belief in our democracy” and that “our voices are heard.”

Since last weekend’s march in Washington and “sister” marches around the country and the world, there has been much talk about how to build on the momentum going forward and if women from various economic and ethnic backgrounds can work together on common issues. Continue reading »

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Jan 192017
 

U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond delivers the keynote address at the NAACP New Orleans branch’s 2012 Freedom Fund Banquet at Xavier University. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Though recent polls (including one from the Wall Street Journal/NBC News) call President-Elect Donald Trump the most unpopular incoming President in decades, more than a thousand Louisiana residents including Fenn French, Louis Gurvich, Adrian Bruneau, Eric Skrmetta, Brian Trascher, Billy Nungesser, Jeff Landry, and State Republican Party Chair Roger Villere with granddaughter Madison are taking in all the Washington’s sights and sounds this week in preparation for the 45th Presidential Inauguration. Continue reading »

Jan 162017
 
An automated traffic-enforcement vehicle with a ticket on the windshield. (photo by Charles Schully, reprinted with permission)

An automated traffic-enforcement vehicle with a ticket on the windshield. (photo by Charles Schully, reprinted with permission)

Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

If aliens ever came down to Earth, they would quickly determine that the government of the city of New Orleans is at odds with its own citizens, working ceaselessly to render their lives more grueling and costly.

The latest escalation of this ongoing fracas consists of the use of 55 new speed cameras throughout the parish to close this year’s budget gap. If these additions were simply fixed cameras, they would have garnered less attention. Instead, motorists this week were greeted with a cavalcade of unmarked vehicles equipped with speed cameras parked along major streets. Continue reading »

Jan 122017
 
Kim Gandy of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (center) poses with Mariah Wineski of the  Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Judy Benitez also of NNEDV. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Kim Gandy of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (center) poses with Mariah Wineski of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Judy Benitez also of NNEDV. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Like thousands of women across the country, former New Orleanian Kim Gandy, President and CEO of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), is clearly concerned. Gandy fears that some of the Trump administration’s nominees for key cabinet posts “have historic positions that appear contrary to the rights and protections they will be charged to uphold.” It’s more important than ever, says Gandy, “for women’s voices to be heard and for women to be politically active in issues they care about.” Continue reading »

Jan 092017
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Victoria Coy, the executive director of the Louisiana Violence Reduction Coalition, went on a bit of a tear this past week over Louisiana’s so-called “Stand Your Ground” (SYG) law. In an opinion piece written for The Lens, Coy made claims that, if true, would indeed be quite disturbing:

  • Stand Your Ground was tacked on to Louisiana’s Justifiable Homicide rules in 2006, upending centuries of common-sense definitions of self-defense.”
  • Under the revamped rules, you no longer have the duty to retreat from a threat before using lethal force. You need only ‘perceive’ a threat in order to justify meeting force with force — even if you could easily escape that threat.”
  • Stand Your Ground has codified prejudice. . . . If black men are the scary ones, then why should they be afraid? It’s this exact logic that is not only encouraged, but required under the disastrous Stand Your Ground law.”

Continue reading »

Jan 052017
 

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Former Congressman Bob Livingston, now a Washington D.C.-based lobbyist, told talk show host Larry King on Tuesday night that President-Elect Donald Trump is making a good start on his pledge to “drain the swamp” in Washington. “President-elect Trump has hired some outstanding people and is headed in the right direction,” said Livingston. Continue reading »

Dec 152016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

This week’s announcement by State Rep. Helena Moreno that she is launching the new nonprofit, bipartisan Ignite Advocacy Network (igniteforchange.org) is the latest example of women tapping into the national discontent over a lack of equal opportunities and channeling those feelings into action. The election of Donald Trump is also inspiring liberal and conservative women around the country to consider a career in government. Continue reading »

Dec 122016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Loyola University received more bad publicity this past week when it was accused of discriminating against one of their students on the basis of his profession. He was a cop.

It occurred this past Wednesday when Sergeant Josh Collins of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office attended a class in “Law and Morality” dressed in SWAT fatigues. He’d been attending classes there in criminal justice for eight years and normally wore plainclothes but didn’t that day because he was too busy to change. He was also openly wearing his sidearm. Continue reading »

Dec 082016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Dear President-elect Trump,

Thank you for including Louisiana on your victory tour.

While the majority of Louisiana’s citizens cast their votes for you, the voters of New Orleans did not. We’re a little different because of our unique history and culture. Yet, we’ve got lots of needs we hope you will address. Continue reading »

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Dec 082016
 

merriment

dontgetmalled

 

The holiday season has arrived, and Magazine Street has all that you need for decorating, shopping, pampering and entertaining. From the CBD to Audubon Park, New Orleans’ historic Magazine Street offers six miles of shopping, dining, art, activities and entertainment for all ages!

This year, Merriment on Magazine runs from the day after Thanksgiving and Small Business Saturday through Christmas Eve and includes special activities for the season:

  • Santa’s coming to town for the FREE Santa photo booth for kids, pets or adults visiting Magazine Street! Continue reading »
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Dec 052016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Personally, I’ve never been one to armchair quarterback murder investigations or second-guess police when their actions could be described as “restrained.” I’m not a cop and I have no law enforcement training. My relevant expertise as an attorney is limited to simply whether police are operating within the law, and that’s a limited scope.

However, it is difficult not to look a little cock-eyed at the investigation into the killing of Joe McKnight down in Terrytown. Publicly-released information makes one wonder: Why hasn’t the perp been charged yet? Continue reading »

Dec 012016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Criminals are stalking the streets of America and killing innocent victims at unprecedented rates. “Police have to gain control of this tremendous crime wave that’s hitting the U.S.,” said President-Elect Donald Trump on “Meet The Press” recently. “Cities need strong police protection.”

There is no question that crime is out of control in New Orleans too. Yesterday’s four shootings with a two-hour period, including one fatality, brought the 2016 number of homicides to 164, equal to last year. Who knows how many homicides will take place in December? Continue reading »

Nov 282016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

“It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.”

Vietnam War Correspondent Peter Arnett claimed to have overheard this quote from an unnamed American major regarding the shelling of of Bến Tre city in early 1968. Its veracity is questionable, and in any event, Bến Tre was largely rubble due to attacks from the north before US artillery began its assault to rout the Vietcong.

However, that dubious quote has lingered as a paradigmatic example of a peculiar brand of cognitive dissonance: the notion that you can intentionally eradicate something in the midst of preserving it. Obviously, you can’t have it both ways, but a similar idea has come to mind in the wake of the shooting on Bourbon Street this past weekend in which one person was killed and nine others were wounded. Continue reading »

Nov 242016
 
Local musicians entertain Bayou Classic visitors in New Orleans. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Local musicians entertain Bayou Classic visitors in New Orleans. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Whether thrilled with the election of Donald Trump or still mourning Hillary Clinton’s dramatic loss, there is much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Since its founding in New England, Thanksgiving has always been a great American festival of domestic and moral influence that has brought citizens together around common goals and promoted our national spirit. Continue reading »

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