May 222017
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

After 133 years of standing tall over the New Orleans skyline, Robert E. Lee has been toppled. The last removal of Confederate statuary has unceremoniously been effected.

For Mayor Landrieu, this has been marked with a great deal of self-congratulation. In a speech delivered to a select elite at Gallier Hall, he vigorously defended his removal scheme. Pundits have spoken openly about how removals may enhance Landrieu’s political capital. The New York Times even cited him as a possible presidential nominee. Continue reading »

May 192017
 

After protests over the election of Donald J. Trump as President on Wednesday evening, a city employee begins pressure washing a “Black Power” slogan from the Robert E. Lee monument in New Orleans on Thursday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A monument supporter waves a flag with the Confederate battle emblem at the site of the Jefferson Davis monument in early May. (photo by S.L. Alexander for UptownMessenger.com)

By S.L. Alexander

We recently marked the 47th annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and although I’ve never skipped a year, I must admit I no longer have the stamina for more than one day’s attendance. But the weather this day (after two of the fest days being filled with thunderstorms) was unbelievably perfect–60s and 70s, gentle BabyCakes–er, zephyrs (it’s only the local baseball team has morphed names).

The 12 music stages included many types of music — jazz, Cajun, Dixieland, gospel, some country, some folk, a bit of rock — but the predominant genre, this being, after all, a New Orleans heritage festival, was the outgrowth of what is now called rhythm and blues, but back in the day even in New Orleans was referred to on the radio as “race music.” Walking back to the car at the end of the day, I noted with a chuckle the scores of bicycles chained to the fence underneath a sign clearly ordering NO BIKE PARKING, and I was feeling very happy and mellow when we got into the car parked on Jeff Davis Parkway. Heading back toward Uptown, my pleasant musings were abruptly interrupted by the sight of about a dozen protesters with giant Confederate flags, across the street from the Jefferson Davis monument, which was protected by a temporary chain link fence and eight NOPD squad cars filled with armed cops. My spirits plunged. I’ve been here nearly three decades, and the only Confederate flags I’ve ever seen in New Orleans before were at the Civil War (nee the Confederate) Museum. Continue reading »

May 182017
 

City council members Susan Guidry and Jared Brossett pose for a photo with Caroline Fayard at a rally for Fayard in 2016. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

It’s official! District D Councilmember Jared Brossett will run for re-election rather than entering the growing field for city council at-large.

“After much praying and introspection about what will best benefit the citizens of New Orleans, I decided to continue to serve in District D,” Brossett told a pack crowd of supporters last night at the Maison du Lac. “There is more work to be done. We have made great investments and by all coming together the city will continue to improve.” Continue reading »

May 172017
 

Abandoned green trash bins line Napoleon Avenue on Wednesday, May 16. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A satirical slogan on the side of a trash can. (submitted photo)

Like revelers waiting for a parade that will never come or sign wavers on Election Day, the obsolete green trash bins have begun congregating on the Uptown neutral ground and street corners, abandoned in ever more prominent places by residents frustrated with the slow pace of their removal. Continue reading »

May 152017
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

We’re down to two. Of the four monuments hand-selected by Mayor Landrieu for removal, only two remain – those memorializing Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Pierre G. T. Beauregard.

If Landrieu remains true to form, he’ll leave Lee’s statute for last. It is the most prominent, the most controversial, and by far the most difficult to remove. The figure of Lee looming large over the city is a major fixture, and parting with it cuts deeply to many New Orleanians. Continue reading »

May 112017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Industrial Development Board Chair Alan H. Philipson is no push-over. After completing a successful career in manufacturing, Philipson became a full-time volunteer and currently also serves as Chairman of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, First Vice President of the Louisiana SPCA, and Secretary of Lambeth House. He also works with Bricolage Academy, was honored by Family Services and named 2016 Activist of the Year by St. Charles Avenue.

Armed with the proper resources and consultants, Philipson is quite capable of directing a fair and impartial selection process to identify a well-qualified developer for the former Six Flags site. Instead of providing Philipson with the tools he needed, Landrieu has decided to run the process himself – a la the World Trade Center – and will get one last shot to give a major piece of New Orleans real estate to his hand-selected cronies. Continue reading »

May 102017
 

Shovels stand at attention after a groundbreaking ceremony for the new NOPD Second District station on Broadway Street in Gert Town. The station will open in spring 2018, officials said. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

After at least four years of planning to move the officers of the New Orleans Police Department out of their cramped, decrepit building on Magazine Street, construction is finally set to begin on their new site in Gert Town, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said Wednesday morning. Continue reading »

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May 102017
 

Pedestrians walk past the vacant lot at 1476 Magazine Street in 2011 . It is now slated to become a bed-and-breakfasts staffed by artists who live on site.
(UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

An artist-run bed-and-breakfast is one step closer to fruition in the Lower Garden District after approval for a zoning waiver. Continue reading »

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May 092017
 

A map of roadwork scheduled in the Audubon areas starting in early 2018. Solid blue is a road surface repaving; red is replacing concrete sections; pink and purple are smaller spot repairs, and dotted lines are utility work. (via roadwork.nola.gov)

The city of New Orleans is in the process of launching a $2.4 billion project to repair the most heavily damaged streets in neighborhoods all over New Orleans over the next eight years, but Carrollton residents asked pointedly Monday night whether plans so far over the horizon have any chance of becoming a reality. Continue reading »

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May 082017
 

See that bright orange parking ticket on the window? The city says this Land Rover is blocking a driveway — even though the driveway has long since been replaced by the building addition instead. (photo by Owen Courreges for UptownMessenger.com)

Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

You won’t find many people in New Orleans who have much good to say about the Parking Enforcement Division of Public Works. Meter Maids seem to generate a never-ending litany of complaints, the vast majority of which appear well-founded.

A couple of weeks ago I was confronted with a prime example of this phenomenon. I noticed an old Land Rover parked across the street with a ticket in the windshield. Since the Land Rover was legally parked, I was curious what the ticket said. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Owen Courreges: New Orleans will gladly give you a parking ticket for blocking a driveway that doesn’t exist  Tagged with:
May 042017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

State Representative Stephanie Hilferty hails from the most conservative legislative district in New Orleans – House District 94 in Lakeview. In a move that has scorched the hearts of some of New Orleans’ biggest job and tax generators, Republican Hilferty is joining Mayor Mitch Landrieu — considered in some circles around the state to be a tax-and-spend Democrat — in an wildcard move to divert tax dollars already dedicated to the Morial Convention Center to a new taxing authority, the New Orleans Street Maintenance District. Continue reading »

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May 032017
 

New Orleans city officials held a celebratory groundbreaking Tuesday for the Keller Community Center, which will provide afterschool programs and fitness classes at the city of a former fire station on Magnolia Street in Central City. Continue reading »

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May 012017
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

You don’t expect a professional Poker player to inadvertently reveal his hand. His face may betray him, or his confidence morph into hubris, but any experienced professional keeps his cards close. A novice is far more likely to sputter and fumble, ultimately exposing himself to the other vultures at the table.

This brings us to Mayor Landrieu. In the game of politics, Landrieu is supposed to be a consummate professional, a scion of a local political dynasty. Lately, however, in his management of the controversy over his scheme to raze four monuments, he’s been behaving like a rookie. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Owen Courreges: Yes, mayor, we ought to be filling potholes with that money — not replacing Confederate statues
Apr 242017
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

One of the first things young writers are often taught is to begin an opinion piece with a strong thesis statement. It’s all about laying your cards on the table and presenting an assertion that grabs the reader, delivering an opinion without equivocation.

Thus, without further ado, here is the thesis statement of this column: Inclusionary zoning doesn’t work. Continue reading »

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Apr 202017
 

Verret’s Lounge at 1738 Washington Avenue, photographed in April 2016 (via Google)

The city’s alcohol board freed Verret’s Lounge on Washington Avenue this week from a requirement that it keep a security guard on site following a fatal shooting inside the bar last year, clearing the way for the business to be sold to new owners who add more of a wine focus to the menu. Continue reading »

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