May 262016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Sheriff Marlin Gusman has the desire, innate ability and intelligence to operate the Orleans Parish jail but what he lacks, according to the federal government’s lead court-appointed monitor, is the basic knowledge needed to run a big-city jail and institute best practices in corrections management. This is an especially damaging statement considering Gusman has held the position for ten years. Continue reading »

May 242016
 
Fire damage can still be seen at the building at 4712 Magazine, now slated for demolition. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Fire damage can still be seen at the building at 4712 Magazine, now slated for demolition. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A large Magazine Street building heavily damaged in a fire earlier this year has been approved for demolition, but neighbors and City Council members say they intend to remain involved in the rebuilding plans against any large, “big box” style developments in its place.

Meanwhile, a separate request to tear down part of a historic home just off the Freret corridor for a driveway split the City Council and failed amid concerns that the character of the streetscape might be altered for the purposes of an investment property. Continue reading »

May 202016
 
A diagram demonstrating the parts of a bioswale included in a presentation by city officials.

A diagram demonstrating the parts of a bioswale included in a presentation by city officials.

If all goes as planned, the Lower Garden District will soon get a 600-foot-long bioswale along Coliseum Square Park, thanks to money pledged by the Sewerage and Water Board to give the city more green infrastructure. Continue reading »

May 172016
 

Panelists (in left photo, from left) Molly Mitchell, Quess Moore and Richard Marksbury, and (in right photo, from left) Kodi Roberts and Pierre McGraw listen to questioners near the end of a long, contentious panel discussion on Confederate monuments in New Orleans. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Panelists (in left photo, from left) Molly Mitchell, Quess Moore and Richard Marksbury, and (in right photo, from left) Kodi Roberts and Pierre McGraw listen to questioners near the end of a long, contentious panel discussion on Confederate monuments in New Orleans. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Each time the standing-room-only audience at Tulane Hillel grew raucous Tuesday night, moderator David Hammer reminded them that their panel discussion on the future of Confederate monuments in New Orleans was intended to search for a way to compromise.

By the end, however, even Hammer seemed to acknowledge how far off any consensus on the contentious issue may still be.

“The hope was for us to find common ground,” Hammer said. “I don’t know that we did that, but we made our best effort tonight.” Continue reading »

May 172016
 
At left, 2112 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard and the three identical shotgun homes next to it. (2014 image via Google)

At left, 2112 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard and the three identical shotgun homes next to it. (2014 image via Google)

A city panel rejected a request Monday to demolish a historic shotgun home on Oretha Castle Boulevard hailed as a crucial element of the streetscape of the rapidly redeveloping corridor. Continue reading »

May 162016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

I’ve said time and time again: Those who most vocally claim to care about the poor and disenfranchised in our society actually tend to do the most damage to them. Many wealthy liberals want to have their cake and eat it too; to support laws and regulations that superficially appear to help those less fortunate, but conveniently push them away and make their lives worse. Continue reading »

May 142016
 

red beans roundtable

The Tulane City Center will host a “Red Beans Roundtable” discussion on issues of affordable housing Monday, featuring developer Pres Kabacoff, Loyola University law professor Davida Finger, and advocates from the Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative, the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance and the Women’s Health and Justice Initiative. Continue reading »

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May 132016
 
(Google Maps)

(Google Maps)

The site of Belladoggie, the doggie day care and boarding company, will be converted into apartment buildings with one small retail space on the ground floor, according to records filed with the city. Continue reading »

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May 122016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Will Mayor Landrieu’s vocal support of a federal takeover at the Orleans Parish Prison be the final encouragement Judge Lance Africk needs to pull the trigger on receivership? Gusman filed his response to the Justice Department’s complaint yesterday which basically said he had not been given enough time or resources to significantly address the many issues at hand.

Under receivership, the federal government will appoint a seasoned correctional official to administer violence and mismanagement issues. Gusman would continue to serve as Sheriff but his hands would basically be tied. Continue reading »

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May 102016
 
Oliver Houck, a Tulane University law professor noted for his work on environmental protection, speaks at a meeting of the Audubon Commission on Tuesday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Oliver Houck, a Tulane University law professor noted for his work on environmental protection, speaks at a meeting of the Audubon Commission on Tuesday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Neighbors who frequent Audubon Park expressed two top priorities on Tuesday night — a short-term goal of improving the bathrooms on The Fly, and a long-term goal of creating a community-driven master plan to guide the future of the popular recreation space.

Meanwhile, they also learned the latest plans for the reconstruction of Magazine Street through the area — currently scheduled to begin some time in 2017. Continue reading »

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 032016
 

LaToya Cantrell

LaToya Cantrell

As New Orleanians continue to grapple with affordable housing, with about 70 percent of residents spending more than 36 percent of their incomes on rent or mortgage, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell is urging city residents to get more involved in a citywide plan that, among other things, dictates the framework for the city’s land-use rules. Continue reading »

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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 282016
 
Audubon Nature Institute CEO Ron Forman, left, and Audubon Commission chair Kelly Duncan listen to comments from residents on Thursday afternoon. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Audubon Nature Institute CEO Ron Forman, left, and Audubon Commission chair Kelly Duncan listen to comments from residents on Thursday afternoon. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The new public-notice policies that the Audubon Commission has offered concerning proposed development are a good start, Uptown residents said on Thursday afternoon, but should be significantly improved before they are adopted. Continue reading »

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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 192016
 
The LaFon Fountain in its prime, in a photo dating to the 1970s. (courtesy of Coliseum Square Association)

The LaFon Fountain in a photo dating to the 1970s. (courtesy of Coliseum Square Association)

The LaFon fountain in its current state. (photo by Kara Mattini, courtesy of Coliseum Square Association)

The LaFon fountain in its current state. (photo by Kara Mattini, courtesy of Coliseum Square Association)

Members of the Coliseum Square Association are planning a fundraising push to better service the parks and fountains throughout the Lower Garden District. Continue reading »

Apr 152016
 
The pothole on Maple Street filled with oyster shells in March. Tulane professor Richard Campanella said he believes it was an expression of frustration from a driver tired of hitting potholes. (photo submitted by Emily Branan)

The pothole on Maple Street filled with oyster shells in March. Tulane professor Richard Campanella said he believes it was an expression of frustration from a driver tired of hitting potholes. (photo submitted by Emily Branan)

Article by Emily Branan, video by Lawson Box

Richard Campanella was on his way to get his morning cup of coffee when he noticed an interesting addition to the Maple Street landscape: oyster shells.

Campanella, geographer and senior professor of practice at the Tulane School of Architecture, said he enjoys studying urban cityscapes and thought the pothole filled with oyster shells made an interesting subject to study. Continue reading »