For many New Orleanians life has never been the same since Hurricane Katrina destroyed their homes, their neighborhoods, their schools, and their sense of community. Katrina was an experience they do not want to relive on this or any other anniversary. For them, the grief process is ongoing. African Americans especially feel the rules were stacked against them, making their recovery even harder.
A small plot of land on Constance Street in the Irish Channel long mistaken for a pocket park should be developed into single-family or double houses, not the condo building that the owner wants there, said New Orleans city planners on Tuesday.
As she recently ended her term as president of the Climana Neighborhood Association in the Milan area, Rosalind Peychaud found herself grappling with the same issue that many neighborhood leaders do: New Orleans residents are the first ones to notice street-level problems with crime, blight, and other issues, but are often frustrated with how hard it is to get something done about it.
So, Peychaud whipped up her own solution: a grassroots campaign encouraging the use of the ubiquitous cell-phone camera for something more useful than selfies, positioning the neighborhood association as the advocate for reporting the problems captured in a photo and tracking their results.
We’re coming up on the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, in case you’ve been locked in a closet for the past few weeks and have thus been spared the maudlin, self-indulgent navel-gazing of every commentator that comes down the pike.
For some, Katrina was an opportunity seized. The guiding narrative is that of a city in decline that took advantage of adversity and emerged stronger. It’s a characterization of Katrina that’s equal parts appalling and inaccurate. We are not in a better position as entire swaths of neighborhoods lay in ruin and our population is greatly reduced.
For years, neighbors and preservationists fought to save a century-old home at 820 General Pershing Street from the wrecking ball, and despaired when it was finally demolished late last year.
But instead of the commercial parking lot they once dreaded, the vacant lot is instead becoming a school garden for the nearby Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle-Orléans, and neighbors say they are unexpectedly pleased by its appearance.
The City of New Orleans is sending a message, loud and clear: Free public parking lots? You’ve had a good run, but your days are over.
I worked in the CBD a few years back, and initially I opted to utilize the free parking underneath the U.S. 90/Pontchartrain Expessway overpass. Although homeless people tended to congregate in the area nearest to the New Orleans Mission, the area further down by St. Charles Avenue tended to be wide open.
Just when the Irish Channel had come to accept that the little plot of land on Constance Street just off Magazine is not a park, on Tuesday — through the most tortured machinations of New Orleans bureaucracy — it became a park.
Of course, the little patch of ground is still not really a park. But what it will become after it stops being not-a-park remains stubbornly unclear, leading to a heated discussion Thursday night among the property owner, the Irish Channel Neighborhood Association and City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell.
Calhoun Street and several blocks around it in the university area will have low water pressure again on Saturday for more repairs, according to the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans.
It’s no secret to political insiders that State Treasurer John Kennedy has his eyes set on David Vitter’s U.S. Senate seat if Vitter is elected governor. Vitter would be in a unique position to recommend his successor and could easily select Louisiana’s popular Republican State Treasurer. Kennedy is now running a television commercial that depicts himself as a statesman worthy of voters’ support. Kennedy is also starting to be a stand-in for Vitter, defending the U.S. Senator on several tough issues. We should all expect more of that coziness as the campaign continues.
Housing costs have been rising to unsustainable levels in New Orleans as the market struggles to increase supply to satisfy the demand. Alas, not everyone is sanguine about the ways in which demand is being met.
First, there is infill development, i.e., building housing on vacant lots in existing neighborhoods. However, in the most popular New Orleans neighborhoods, opportunities for development are scarce and developers are starting to build on smaller, irregular lots.
Traffic will not be allowed on a section of Calhoun Street in the university area on Friday for the installation of a new water line, according to the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans.
Today’s debate at the New Orleans City Council is another symbolic step in the long-term struggle for New Orleans’ working poor to earn the living wage they deserve to support their families.
Though New Orleans has enjoyed unprecedented growth since Hurricane Katrina as well as an influx of skilled young professionals, we still rank second in income inequity among 300 U.S. cities. In fact, income disparity in New Orleans has increased in recent years, according to the New Orleans Data Center.
Parts of South Claiborne and Jefferson avenues will both experience low-water pressure on Thursday as part of work to install major new drainage canals along both corridors, according to the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans.
There isn’t enough money to fix all the streets, nor enough police officers to patrol them, and certainly not enough to pay back what the city owes the firefighters’ pension fund, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu told a packed auditorium in Lakeview on Thursday evening.
But if the financial situation is so dire, the Lakeview residents shot back, then why is Landrieu suddenly engaging the city in the presumably expensive “self-initiated politics” of removing statues of Confederate leaders?
After more than a dozen speakers took the microphone at a forum dedicated to saving the Carrollton Courthouse on Wednesday night, a common theme emerged from their comments: The best future for the landmark structure is some sort of public use.
Some described a new community center or an expanded library, perhaps to replace the nearby Nix branch. Others mentioned museums about the history of public education, of the city of Carrollton, or even New Orleans music. If not that, then flexible museum space, they said, where the city’s other museums could rotate exhibits. The large space could host city archives or recreation offices, they said, and its grounds would be perfect for park space with the crumbling old temporary buildings removed.
The question looming over the courthouse’s fate — and likely defining it — is who will actually own the building. And to that question, no answers emerged Wednesday night.
Whether you call it a “crackdown” or a “cleanup,” there is no doubt that Maple Street has changed dramatically over the last five years amid intense scrutiny by New Orleans city officials.
Now, a debate over whether the City Council should continue to have oversight over whether new restaurants on Maple Street are allowed to sell alcohol has split the neighborhood association and local businesses, with residents on both sides.
Is the City Council’s traditional role as a gatekeeper for alcohol sales at restaurants a crucial element of the new peace on Maple Street, or does it give neighborhoods and their elected officials too much influence over which businesses can open?
Scrappy New Orleans entrepreneur Kishore “Mike” Motwani’s $8.175 million purchase this week of Oz, New Orleans premiere gay dance club, this week is another sign that this often-despised self-made millionaire puts his money where his mouth is. Much to the dismay of ardent preservationists, Motwani is living the American Dream by remaking downtown New Orleans in his own image.
The debate between historic preservation and private-property rights flared again Monday as a panel of New Orleans officials considered requests to tear down four more Uptown homes, pitting preservationists against property owners and neighbors against neighborhood associations.