Apr 062020

The Leonidas and Hollygrove neighborhoods will see road construction for the next year. (roadwork.nola.gov)

A $15.1 million roadwork project is scheduled to begin today (Monday, April 6) in Hollygrove and Lenonidas, the Mayor’s Office announced. It’s part of a massive capital improvement program for the roads and drainage systems that the city is under a deadline to complete.

The $2.2 billion citywide infrastructure program, with more than 200 individual projects, is financed through FEMA, Housing and Urban Development, the Sewerage & Water Board and city bonds. The federal funding has a time limit, city officials say. The infrastructure program is scheduled to be completed by 2023.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell has ordered the work to continue during the coronavirus shutdowns. “Continuing our infrastructure work during this trying time for our city is absolutely essential,” Cantrell said in a written statement. “Public safety is always our priority — with hurricane season on the horizon as well as deadlines for our FEMA and HUD dollars — we must push forward for as long as we safely and responsibly can.” Continue reading »

Apr 012020

If you’re wondering how you can keep whiling away the hours while your normal activities are on hold, here’s a suggestion: Take advantage of the virtual public library.

Although your neighborhood library is shuttered for the time being, the New Orleans Public Library still provides access to a wide variety of movies to stream, e-books to read, audio books to listen to and more. There are also plenty of resources to keep the kids entertained, help them (and you) master their homework and even prepare for the LEAP or the SAT. Continue reading »

Mar 302020

Clerk Chelsey Richard Napoleon announces FREE complimentary subscriptions to the Remote Access system, including civil records and land records.

This will allow the public the flexibility of anytime, anywhere and anyplace access to information in both the Civil and Land Records divisions. Current subscribers will receive a complimentary extension. Continue reading »

Mar 292020

The St. Charles streetcar is scheduled to come along every 36 minutes. (RTA photo)

Beginning Sunday (March 29) in response to COVID-19 pandemic, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority is further reducing its service. Some routes will remain on a Saturday schedule,  other lines will run less frequently and some routes will be eliminated during the coronavirus crisis.

In addition, the RTA will waive transit fares for bus, streetcar and ferry service until further notice. Continue reading »

Mar 272020

By Kristine Froeba, opinion columnist

The PJ’s on upper Magazine Street is taking call-in orders. (Kristine Froeba)

COVID-19 can live up to eight hours on cardboard takeout boxes and up to 72 on Styrofoam containers, straws, cups and plastic bags, says a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine. Airborne droplets can linger in the air for three to four hours after a person has coughed or sneezed.

What does that mean for locals who are supporting our beloved local restaurants and coffee shops? It means risk. Takeout and curbside service is a risk to the health of the workers and the customers, but how much?

That’s a question no one can answer yet. It may be a question some would prefer to ignore or deny. Continue reading »

Mar 262020

Bars with kitchens, like Cure on Freret Street, are not allowed to sell via take-out or delivery under the COVID-19 restrictions. (Google Maps)

By Sharon Lurye, Uptown Messenger

While some bars in New Orleans hoped they could survive the economic fallout of COVID-19 by selling alcohol to-go, city and state officials have clarified that they must close completely – leading to a peculiar situation where restaurants, breweries and even drive-thru daiquiri shops can sell alcohol to-go, but not regular bars. Continue reading »

Mar 192020

Mayor LaToya Cantrell holds a press conference on March 17. (via the Mayor’s Office)

By Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Gov. John Bel Edwards and Mayor LaToya Cantrell are being too soft on New Orleans. With the number of confirmed cases and deaths skyrocketing, our elected officials don’t have the luxury of merely suggesting that people stay home as much as possible. Some form of sheltering in place must become the law of the land if we don’t want martial law and the additional restrictions it will bring. Continue reading »

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Mar 182020

Coronavirus (via www.cdc.gov)

From the Mayor’s Office

Mayor LaToya Cantrell on Tuesday announced that, response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the city is waiving fines, fees, interest and penalties on sales tax payments due to the city for 60 days. In addition, the City will extend the renewal period for alcoholic beverage outlets, or ABOs, up to 30 days without penalty.

“The impacts of COVID-19 are going to leave a mark in history for the city. How we respond to this pandemic will define us. My No. 1 concern has always been – and will always be – to protect and serve the people of our great city. I know that a lot of our people are really worried right now about how they are going to make ends meet,” said Mayor Cantrell. “My goal: That we all get through this uncertain time. Everyone needs help getting through this. We are all going to have to help each other out as much as we possibly can. I have relaxed what is owed to the city – and businesses must use this opportunity to do everything in their power to help the residents of New Orleans – this includes paying employees. Continue reading »

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Mar 172020

Novel coronavirus (via www.cdc.gov)

Monday saw the city’s third death of the coronavirus, an 84-year-old resident of the Lambeth House retirement home Uptown, and aggressive measures  on the state and city level to prevent the spread of the disease.

Louisiana is among country’s highest per capita rates of COVID-19 infection, with 136 cases as of Tuesday morning, and New Orleans is the epicenter, with 94 presumptive positive cases. Continue reading »

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Mar 162020

Coronavirus (via www.cdc.gov)

Here’s the latest from the city on the quickly changing coronavirus situation in New Orleans.

If you’d like to help, here’s the city’s advice on how to donate and volunteer.

From the Mayor’s Office

Mayor LaToya Cantrell on Sunday outlined several actions the city of New Orleans is taking in coordination with local, state and federal partners in its continued response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Mayor Cantrell also continued to insist that residents practice safe behaviors such as social distancing and avoiding large gatherings like the ones that were shut down Saturday by the New Orleans Police Department.

“This is a crisis. This is real. You have to pay attention. The news this morning of a second death in Orleans Parish is heartbreaking, personally — and is additional tragic news for the people of our City. We are losing loved ones. We all have a role to play — every resident in this city,” said Mayor Cantrell. “‘Social distancing’ isn’t a buzzword — it’s a way to save lives and slow the spread of this infection in our community.”

As anticipated, the rate of cases is continuing to rise, and the numbers are rising at a greater rate than anticipated. As of Monday morning, there were 114 cases statewide, 79 in Orleans Parish. There have been two deaths. Continue reading »

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Mar 122020

After Mayor LaToya Cantrell declared a state of emergency and recommended social distancing, patrons and workers still made the scene at Tracey’s and other venues across the city on Wednesday night. (Danae Columbus)

By Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Now that Mayor LaToya Cantrell has declared a state of emergency and called for the Louisiana National Guard, New Orleanians who are used to hugging and kissing everyone in sight are being asked to embrace social distancing and other practices like constant hand washing that hopefully can slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus. How well Mayor Cantrell is able to manage the city’s ever-evolving response will be her enduring legacy. Continue reading »

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Mar 112020

Jamie Flowers receives a kiss from a member of the Irish Corner Club during the 2019 Irish Channel Parade. Before the 2020 parade was canceled, organizers were urging winks or fist bumps in place of the traditional Irish kisses.  (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

A variety of groups were ready to bring an explosion of activity to Uptown streets this weekend. The Irish Channel Parade, a centerpiece of local St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, was planned for Saturday. And the following day, Mardi Gras Indian tribes and second-line groups were to bring their artistry to the streets of Central City for the annual Uptown Super Sunday.

Now Irish Channel paraders need to store their throws and Indians need to put away this year’s suits. And for Uptown residents, this might be a good weekend for spring cleaning and gardening instead of enjoying parades.  Continue reading »

Mar 102020

This Hillary Street double went from 1,978 square feet to to 2,795 after a renovation by Amicus Properties. (Orleans Parish Assessor’s Office)

The City Council on Thursday approved two motions on parking and residential density in the University neighborhood. They are aimed at establishing an Interim Zoning District for the Uptown area near Tulane and Loyola with more stringent parking requirements than the rest of the city.

It’s an unusual move for a council that normally prioritizes the creation of housing, particularly affordable housing, over parking. But the Uptown area near Tulane and Loyola universities has an unusual problem, with investors buying up homes and converting them to high-end multi-unit rentals marketed to students.

“What’s occurring right now, particularly in the Maple neighborhood, is that doubles are being converted into dormitories,” said District A Councilman Joe Giarrusso at Thursday’s meeting. “So instead of having one or two families reside in a home, we have between eight and 10 college students. This trend is changing the complexion of the neighborhood.” Continue reading »

Mar 062020

Carrollton Avenue traffic will be detoured onto Zimpel, Short and Oak streets. (Sewerage & Water Board map)

Sewerage & Water Board crews will repair a broken water valve on South Carrollton Avenue and Zimpel Street in the Carrollton neighborhood. Repairs will begin Saturday (March 7) at 8 a.m. Continue reading »

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Mar 042020

This Lowerline Street building, purchased in August by an out-of-state investment firm, has been approved for nine units. (Google Maps)

New Orleans residents know something about parking scarcity. Off-street parking is rare in the rows of century-old doubles and singles that make up the city’s historic neighborhoods.

In most areas, this is a problem occasionally, during special events or when a neighbor has a party. In the university area near Tulane and Loyola — where rental units are in especially high demand — it is constant, residents say, and it’s been getting worse. Continue reading »